Father in Wilton shooting charged

The father of the 12-year-old Wilton boy who shot his friend on Dec. 22, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, announced Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy on Monday, Dec. 27.

According to information from Murphy's office, the Saratoga County Sheriff arrested Edward J. O'Rourke, Jr. and charged him. O'Rourke was arraigned in Town of Wilton Court on Dec. 27 and released with conditions to Saratoga County Pretrial Services, according to information from Murphy's office. He is scheduled to return to Wilton Town Court on Jan. 25 at 4 p.m.

Any charges involving the 12-year-old would be handled in the Saratoga County Family by the Saratoga County Attorney's Office, according to information from Murphy's office.

It is alleged that O'Rourke's 12-year-old son and another boy, a 12-year-old friend, were playing with his father's hand gun. Murphy said it appears the boy accidentally shot his friend in the head while playing with the gun, believing it not to be loaded.

The friend was critically injured and collapsed to the floor, the boy called 911 and the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department responded immediately, said Murphy. The friend was transported to Albany Medical Center and remained in critical condition until late last night when he was pronounced dead with his parents at his side.

Murphy said the boy and his parents are cooperating with the Sheriff's Department and that a search warrant was obtained from a town judge for the boy's home as the investigation continues.

Both boys attended Maple Avenue Middle School and Principal Stuart Byrne is reportedly in the process of putting together the school's crisis team preparing for the repercussions from the death one of their students. It is not certain whether the 12-year-old shooter will return at this point.

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