WILKES-BARRE – Christian Sholly stood on his neighbor's porch with a blood-soaked T-shirt, clutching his chest and asking for help.
"He didn't mean to do it," Sholly, 20, told a neighbor after his 15-year-old half-brother, Tony Ransome, fired a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun inside their 86 Hutson St., Wilkes-Barre, home, prosecutors said.
Luzerne County Judge Tina Polachek Gartley determined Ransome responsible for his brother's wound and a juvenile delinquent on charges of aggravated assault, a felony, and two counts of reckless endangerment, misdemeanors, after a 3 ½ hour hearing Thursday.
An additional charge of aggravated assault was dismissed after Polachek Gartley said prosecutors did not meet the burden of proof for that charge, which had to do with Sholly's 16-year-old girlfriend who was in the home during the shooting.
Sholly has since been released from the hospital and is recovering from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Polachek Gartley said Ransome will face a disposition hearing on Dec. 14 – similar to sentencing in adult court. Ransome could face placement in a detention center until the age of 21.
Ransome is currently in placement at Kids Peace, a facility in Orefield, Pa.
The girl, of Wilkes-Barre, testified Thursday she was at Ransome's and Sholly's home around 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, and that the three of them had smoked marijuana on the porch of the home before going upstairs to a bedroom to play video games.
Inside the room, the girl said, Sholly removed the gun from his waist band, a gun he often carried, and placed it on the bed.
"Then, Tony had the gun," the girl testified. "He was pointing it at us and I told him to put it down."
The girl said Ransome pointed the gun at her and then at Sholly and would not comply with their repeated requests to put the gun down.
"You want it too?" Ransome allegedly asked the girl before switching the safety off.
"I was scared," she said.
Sholly asked Ransome to put the gun down, and Ransome refused, walking out of the bedroom.
The girl said she did not follow, but heard Sholly ask Ransome for the gun when a shot was fired.
"(Sholly) was calling for help, that he'd been shot. I didn't believe him," the girl said.
She grabbed her cell phone and headed downstairs to where Ransome and Sholly went and out onto the porch.
"(Sholly's) shirt was very bloody," the girl said. "I called 911."
The girl said she repeatedly told a 911 operator the shooting was an accident and that she was "hysterical."
Luzerne County Detective Gary Sworen said he interviewed Ransome shortly after the incident and Ransome told him he was trying to remove the gun from the room because Sholly had fired the weapon inside the bedroom the day before.
Ransome allegedly told Sworen that he didn't point the gun at anyone, but that he was moving the gun in a sweeping motion. Sholly began to get mad, and Ransome left the room with the intention of putting the gun in their sister's room.
Sworen said Ransome was in the hallway with Sholly when Sholly reached for the gun – the safety was off – and the two were pulling the gun when it fired.
"He said it was an accident, and that he didn't mean to do it," Sworen said Ransome told him. "But, that gun would not have gone off if his finger wasn't on the trigger."
An additional charge of aggravated assault was dismissed after (Judge Tina) Polachek Gartley said prosecutors did not meet the burden of proof for that charge, which had to do with (Christian) Sholly's 16-year-old girlfriend who was in the home during the shooting. Sholly has since been released from the hospital and is recovering from a gunshot wound to the chest.