Former fire captain sentenced in fatal shooting of junior firefighter

Police said Capt. George Matis, Jr. and junior firefighter Parker Hess were inside a station office when Matis’s gun discharged


By FireRescue1 Staff

REPUBLIC, Pa. — A former fire captain was sentenced after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a junior firefighter.

CBS Pittsburgh reported that George Matis, 21, was sentenced to 6 to 24 months in jail after his gun discharged and killed junior firefighter Parker Hess, 16.

Officials said the two were preparing for a township celebration in a Republic Volunteer Fire Department office last November when Matis’s gun went off, hitting Hess in the cheek and killing him.

Matis claimed it was an accident when he pleaded guilty in July, but Hess’s mother is not satisfied with the sentence.

“I don’t think that my son got justice,” Heather Hess said. “I don’t think my son will ever have justice because while George went out of here in handcuffs, I go to the cemetery every day to visit my child. When I read my impact statement at the last hearing, he couldn’t even look at me. He showed no remorse in his face whatsoever.”

Hess said she plans to fight for justice for her son.

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