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Boy, 13, Charged as Adult After Killing Brother During Game

Teen shot brother, 9, while playing 'Cops and Robbers'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2020 2:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Activists are calling attention to a tragic Pennsylvania case in which a 13-year-old boy has been charged, as an adult, with felony homicide after fatally shooting his 9-year-old brother during a game of "Cops and Robbers." The July 8 incident started when the brothers were playing in the living room around 6am; the younger one, Jonivan Wayne Snyder, at some point lay down on the couch to watch videos on his cellphone. The older one allegedly told police, per an arrest affidavit cited by PennLive, that he fetched a gun his father kept in the room and that he knew was loaded, pointed it at his brother's head, and pulled the trigger.

The teen "related he did this because the victim was not complying with his commands while playing cops and robbers. He admitted to being angry with the victim for not listening to him," the affidavit states. An obituary for Snyder and a GoFundMe campaign raising money for his family both note he had a good relationship with his brother and sister. "We not only lost a 9 yr old precious little boy, but we could potentially (lose) his 13yr old brother," Snyder's aunt writes on the fundraising web page. "He is still just a child also." Activists echo that to People. "Kids who go into the adult court re-offend quicker with more violent crimes, with very, very poor life outcomes," one says. "That poor family, where's the sense of justice there? How is this making life better or solving anything that this family is going through right now?" (Read more Pennsylvania stories.)

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