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Former Fayette Co. Fire Captain Sentenced In Fatal Shooting Of Junior Firefighter

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REPUBLIC (KDKA) -- A former Fayette County fire captain was sentenced to jail Friday for the shooting death of a junior firefighter.

State police say the 16-year-old junior firefighter, Parker Hess, and 21-year-old fire captain George Matis, Jr., were working inside the small business office of the Republic Volunteer Fire Department last November when Matis's gun discharged.

The bullet hit Hess in the left cheek, killing him.

The two men were helping to prepare for the township's light-up night celebration. That celebration was abruptly canceled.

Matis claims the shooting was an accident and pleaded guilty in July to involuntary manslaughter.

Friday, he was sentenced to 6 to 23 months in jail.

Hess's mother is not satisfied.

"I don't think that my son got justice," Heather Hess said. "I don't think my son will ever have justice because while Geo went out of here in handcuffs, I go to the cemetery every day to visit my child."

Matis did not speak at the sentencing.

"I didn't expect him to speak," Hess said. "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 was a sophomore at Brownsville Area High School.

"I will continue to fight for justice for Parker, and I will be his voice until I can't be no more," his mother said.

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