School Mourning Shooting Victim

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PIKE COUNTY -- Arrest papers in Pike County reveal that the man accused of shooting and killing his nephew over the weekend showed the boy several guns before the shooting took place.

At the same time, the Wallenpaupack Area School District brought in grief counselors Monday and even had them on a school bus in the morning to help comfort children.

There are lots of heavy hearts at Wallenpaupack North Intermediate School where Hunter Pedersen was a fifth-grader.

His uncle is locked up, charged in his shooting death Saturday.

By early Sunday, the wheels were in motion within the school district near Hawley to get students and staff the help they need to deal with the unthinkable loss.

Pedersen was just 10 years old, a regular kid whose life was cut short when police say his uncle wanted to show off several handguns on Saturday.

One was equipped with a laser and investigators said while it was pointed at the boy's head, the gun went off. Now Hunter Pedersen is gone, his uncle Chad Olm is charged with homicide and an entire school community is in mourning.

"It's hard, we're going to miss Hunter very much," said Amanda Cykosky, principal at Wallenpaupack North Intermediate School.

Cykosky said the fifth-grader at had lots of friends.

Those boys and girls, along with teachers and staff were able to speak with grief counselors the first day back since the shooting death.

"It's been a very rough day, doing the best we can to support our students and staff. Taking their lead and meeting needs where ever we can," she added.

The shooting took place at Hunter's grandmother's home in Wild Acres development in Dingmans Ferry.

The ripple effects have spread far and near, including Hunter's father who said he's angry at Chad Olm.

He knows his brother-in-law loved Hunter and didn't mean to kill him.

But he pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger, changing the family forever.

"Not only children are taking it very difficult, staff who worked with hunter throughout the years. His teachers, counselors, people in the building," said Wallenpaupack Area Superintendent Michael Silsby.

In addition to flags at half-staff at school, officials said a counselor rode the bus that usually picks the boy up for school in order to help everyone come to grips with Hunter's passing this weekend.

"On behalf of the community everyone involved, certainly hunter will be missed, difficult situation for all," said Silsby.

The superintendent at Wallenpaupack said the district will see what it can do to preserve Hunter Pedersen's memory at school.

Funeral arrangements were being made Monday and there's a fund started to help the family with that.

At last check, Chad Olm is still locked up in Pike County.


  • JP

    What a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to the family, in this time. I am pro-gun but as a society we need to learn not to point weapons at others, unless it is in self defense to protect our lives or those we love.

  • Ddm

    Who in their right mind would point a gun at a child and pull the trigger? Why would you even be showing guns to kids let alone pointing one at a child? Accident or no accident I hope he goes to prison for a very long time. Just for being the moron that he is for doing that in the first place. He will have to live with this for the rest of his life. Which he should. R. I. P. lil man. Heartbreaking!!!

  • x

    I don’t understand how he ‘didn’t mean to kill him’ when he pointed the gun and pulled the trigger. sounds like murder to me. He was the only adult around after all.

    • K

      With all due respect, as I stated before, this article is about how the community is pulling together to cope with a horrific loss. Before you make accusations over something you don’t have the first clue about, please keep in mind that the family and friends are reading this.

      • MsM

        No disrepect, but this is not the family and friends site, it’s a NEPA community news site, and the community is outraged! The thought that this act was intentional crossed more than one person’s mind I am sure! There are other pages where the offensive opinions of others can be deemed unwelcome. We all feel badly about what happened to this innocent child.

      • MsM

        With all due respect, it’s not your article. You didn’t write it. I respect what the article is about, what does that have to do with people still expressing their outrage at this careless if not intentional act? The community pulling together is not going to change anything if people are going to treat guns like a power trip!

      • K

        Being a public forum, you are writing accusations that you do not have all the details to. It is not up to the news to provide you with intimate family details, nor is it in your position to be provided with such, as it is an invasion of privacy. I am glad you have enough compassion to feel tragically for Hunter, and I urge everyone to continue to pray for the strength and comfort of this family, but where is the compassion for the rest of his family? What happened to thinking before you speak? If you were in front of this family today, do you think they need to hear a complete stranger purging their accusations on murder and their stand on gun safety? The family does not need the judgements of keyboard jockeys at this time. Please think before you type. Please don’t lead me and the rest of the family and friends to label you as one of those people that live the life of “Ignorance is Bliss”, as I am sure by seeing your heart breaking for this child that you are so much more than that. Please keep the entire family in your prayers.

  • P. Kersey

    I have lost a child and feel for the parents. I hope you manage to get thru this tough time. I agree with some previous posts take the anti gun talk out of this. This is nothing more then an idiot with a gun. Just like the many idiots driving cars or idiots in general. People make the mistakes, people start fights, people kill people, people start wars. So instead of coming down on guns, rockets, bombs, knives, etc lets start coming down on the overall scum and idiots in this society. Just go to walmart of course in pm hours and its filled with scum. Enough SAID… My prayers go out to the family of the boy.

  • Pikemom7

    Wow. If you look up this story everyone is a a little different. I live in this community and our hearts are breaking as many of us grew up with Hunters mom and his uncle. He did not have any issues what so ever. He made a completely careless and stupid mistake that he now has to live with for the rest of his life. And this is not about him. It’s about this poor young innocent boy who lost his life in a senseless act and his family and friends that are grieving. Where does it matter where the parents were??? I leave my children with family all the time. They were away and the uncle was watching him. No mention here of his 11 year old cousin that was in the room and witnessed the whole thing and needs prayers too. Get a life and take your anti gun talk somewhere else. This is the last thing friends of the family like myself and the family want to see. This is about a grieving family and community over this angel. Have some respect.

  • Karmic

    See this is not the parents fault or anyone’s except the uncle. If the uncle was responsible enough to own a gun or guns then he should have known that he shouldnt have pointed anything at anyone and not at a child. If i was in the family shoes i would be beyond ticked off,i would not defend a family member who chose to be very stupid. This child has lost his life because of this man who thought he was cool showing off his gun’s none the less pulling the trigger. Like why would u pull the freakin trigger? Weather it was loaded or not,never point a gun at a person. My heart breaks for this boy’s family and friends. May god send them strength to get through this and to help them get stronger and fight for the truth

  • peggy

    This is about the loss of a innocent child. Say a prayer for him and his family fight you gun battles else where have a little respect

  • MsM

    Number one, God made us all differnt on purpose. Number two, God is not into pharmakeia. Number 3, what is the name of this cult of which you speak so we know where it is, so we can steer clear and warn others.

  • Jim Brony

    John Lennon had similar sentiments. Trouble is – when everyone else is out getting high and dancing in the streets, we still need someone to get work done. Judging from your hippie name and gushing prose, someone other than you will be doing the work. Sell the guns to a country that needs them? Who would that be? Smoke another one for me, I’ve got work in the morning…

  • K

    With all due respect, to everyone who has commented or feels the need to comment- this article is about how a close-knit small town is trying to deal with a horrific tragedy. Family and friends of the Pedersens, as well as children are reading this article. Before you sit behind the safety of your keyboards and pass judgement on a situation you think you know about, please think and show compassion. It means a world of difference.

  • Charles Lee Ray

    it sounds like you have been smoking a little something something. lets say we do get rid of guns whats going to happen if someone tries to rob someone that leaves people defenseless what are they supposed to do with the robber let them take their stuff or are you just supposed to call the police and wait half an hour for them to come mean while the person is already gone with some of your things . while we are at it lets also ban knives baseball bats and anything else that could be used as a weapon.
    How does that sound? Also you cannot be serious.

  • Adam

    Wow that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I feel very bad for the family but what your wrote is just crazy.

  • Edward K

    In a perfect world that would be nice. We don’t live in a perfect world. My condolences to the family. This is a tragic loss of a child’s life, Chad was a negligent gun own. In a perfect world yes no guns. Unfurtunantly criminals do not listen to laws so to say to disarm is a little far fetched. If we took away all the cars and went back to horse and buggy ,no one would die from an idiot who gets behind the wheel drunk.

  • L

    It wasn’t the gun that killed the poor child, the idiot who pointed it at his head and pulled the trigger did! The issue, as far as I’m concerned, is not about not having guns, it is about being responsible and having respect for deadly weapons. My heart goes out to the family and all involved.

    • Sean Christian Homes

      Violence with violence. maybe he had your brain and was always fkn around with guns.

  • GramRose

    LOCK THE GUNS AND KEEP THEM LOCKED AWAY ! they aren’t toys to show off to children or anyone for that matter ! And why point it at someone’s head even thinking it is empty is beyond my thoughts ? …very sad and heartbreaking situation that could have been avoided…very difficult lesson for that Uncle to carry thru life.. my prayers are with the family…sympathy to all who knew this child. Very sad indeed.

  • MsM

    “He knows his brother-in-law loved Hunter and didn’t mean to kill him.”

    “But he pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger,”


    “the man accused of shooting and killing his nephew over the weekend showed the boy several guns before the shooting took place.”

    If this was my son this would NOT be permissable? Where were the parents while the uncle was showing off all these guns?

    • Christen

      I think it’s pathetic that you have the audacity to ask where the parents were at in this situation right after they lost a young child.

      YOU never let your children alone with a FAMILY MEMBER?? Please.

      • MsM

        Not someone with a cache of guns no..but with all due respect, I was asking where they were when he was pulling out the guns and messing around with them…was this child alone in the house with this man at the tme o the accident or were tere other people on, in, or around the premises? You can think it’s pathetic all you want, but because a child is dead thorugh an act of negligence on the uncle’s part; it’s a viable question.

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