New Castle News

Closer Look

December 11, 2012

Neighbors lament death of child

NEW CASTLE — For Fredonia resident Carol Seidle and her neighbors, it’s been gut-wrenching to watch the weekend’s events.

She lives across the street from the family that lost a 7-year-old boy to an accidental shooting Saturday morning.

Seidle was questioned by state police when they couldn’t get in touch with Craig Allen Wolfe-Loughry’s mother after he was killed.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Seidle said, “I cannot imagine.”

Craig died Saturday morning after he was shot with a pistol his father was putting in the center console of a pickup outside Twig’s Re-Loading Den on U.S. Route 62 in East Lackawannock Township.

Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, of Jefferson Township was distraught after the shooting, police said. Craig’s mother, Amanda J. Loughrey of Fredonia, wasn’t home and couldn’t initially be contacted by police, who questioned Seidle, she said.

The Loughreys are divorced.

When Amanda Loughrey came home Saturday night, she unloaded packages from an apparent shopping trip, Seidle said.

“It’s the saddest thing,” Seidle said. “I just can’t believe it.”

State police said Joseph Loughrey was looking to sell a rifle and a 9 mm handgun at Twig’s about 11 a.m. and was leaving after he had secured the rifle in the back of his pickup. He had placed the pistol on the console, they said, and it went off, hitting Craig in the chest.

Loughrey initially pulled from his parking spot to drive to the hospital, when he realized he needed paramedics, stopped and called 911, Mercer County Coroner J. Bradley McGonigle said.

McGonigle pronounced Craig dead at 11:40 a.m. at the scene. After an autopsy Sunday, McGonigle ruled the death accidental.

“It’s just a tragedy,” he said.

A young man who answered the door at Craig’s mother’s home on Main Street in Fredonia said the family didn’t want to comment.

“Craig was a unique person with an incredible spirit,” Craig’s mother wrote in her son’s obituary. “He loved superheroes, drawing, his family, ninjas and his pets.

“He could often be seen dressed up in his ninja or Batman costume playing in front of his house or at the park in Fredonia,” Amanda Loughrey wrote.

Neighbors said the family kept to themselves, but Craig played outside often.

Craig was a “typical little kid,” Jodi Sipe said.

“He was either a ninja or Batman,” she remembered.

“It’s just a shame,” Sipe said of the shooting. “Especially around the holidays.”

“He was a cute little guy,” Seidle said.

The investigation into the shooting is still open and Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems said until it is complete, he wouldn’t comment on any charges that might be filed.

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