Parents' Horror: One Son Dead, Other Accused of Murder

Boy, 11, charged with murder in shooting of his 6-year-old brother.

July 3, 2011— -- The parents of a 6-year-old Martinsville, Ind., boy shot in the head are struggling with the double tragedy of knowing that their 11-year-old son is the one accused of murdering him.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Department has released few details about what they believe went on in the home Thursday afternoon before Andrew Frye, 6, was fatally shot, but after initially saying it appeared to be accidental, on Friday they charged the older boy in the killing.

"My brother's a mess, as expected the mom is horrible, wrecked too with the loss of a son and one in trouble," said Karri Vandagrift, the children's aunt. "We have our questions. We all want our answers. But right now it's the time to mourn."

Andrew Frye's brother was the only other person at home at the time the 6-year-old was shot in the head with a .22-caliber gun Thursday afternoon, law enforcement officials said.

The 11-year-old called 911 after the shooting, at about 6:15 p.m.

The boy will be charged as a juvenile with murder and criminal recklessness, Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega announced on Friday.

"The court heard a probable cause hearing, at which time the court found probable cause and authorized detention of the 11-year-old," Sonnega told ABC affiliate WRTV in Indianapolis.

Sonnega declined to release many details of the incident, citing strict privacy rules in juvenile court.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions. The detectives worked all last night ... and they will continue to work all weekend," Sonnega said Friday.

Initial reports from the sheriff's office indicated that the boy's shooting was an accident, but Sonnega said the course of the investigation led them to believe that was not the case.

"There are cases where what you first believe to be true isn't necessarily where the evidence takes you," Sonnega said.

"There's a lot of things we need to find out. We've got to err on the side of safety, and we have to act appropriately," he said.

"Murder can be knowingly or intentionally. There is a slight difference. Knowingly means when you engage in conduct you know there is a high probability of the outcome," Sonnega said at a news conference announcing the charges.

When police officers arrived at the home, they found the 6-year-old boy on a bed in a bedroom with a gunshot wound in his head. The boy was taken to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, and he died there less than two hours later, police told the Indianapolis Star.

The two boys were cared for by their mother and her boyfriend, who arrived at the hospital before the boy died, police said.

Prosecutors and police are investigating possible neglect charges against the adults, said Sonnega, according to the Indy Star.

"Obviously this is a very tragic time for them. We'll address that issue down the road," he said.

Friends and family attended a prayer vigil on Friday night.

"[Andrew] was a good kid," neighbor Jessica Purgason told the Star. "He was quiet. He just wanted to play. That's all he was about."

"[Andrew's] full of life and smart and funny," Vandagrifft said. "We're going to miss him."