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EXCLUSIVE: Ethan Song’s parents speak out after friend is charged in connection with death

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GUILFORD -- Nearly 10 months after the accidental shooting death of 15-year-old Ethan Song, an arrest has been made in the case Monday, charging a juvenile boy with second degree manslaughter.

Song was found dead in his friend's home in Guilford on January 31, and just last week, the State's Attorney ruled the shooting accidental. The report said that Song accidentally shot himself in the head with a .357 magnum handgun which was stored in a master bedroom closet at the location where he was shot.

"The investigation also identified an incident that occurred prior to Ethan's death," police said in a release. "The same juvenile was charged with CGS 53a-63 reckless endangerment in the first degree in connection with the prior incident and referred to Juvenile Court, Waterbury where the case is scheduled to be handled."

Following the arrest, FOX61's Jennifer Bernstein spoke to Song's parents who reflected on the arrest and how they plan on moving forward.

"We had heard that was coming down and we had felt that a fourteen year old child shouldn't really be responsible for what happens with guns in their house," said father Mike Song. "That's the role of the adult in the house."

Bernstein:  So you feel like the charges at this point are misplaced?

Mike: Yes

"It's heartbreaking to us, we loved this child, he spent a lot of time in our home and we don't place the blame on him," said mother Kristin Song. "We place the blame squarely on his father."

In the State's Attorney report, they concluded the gun owner, Daniel Markle, would not face charges in Ethan's death. The report, which did not name Markle, said he legally owned several guns.

The guns, which were locked, were stored in a tupperware container that was hidden in a closet with ammunition in the same container along with the keys to the lock.

The report said it could not determine whether the guns stored were loaded, which would have been illegal. The report also said the homeowner did not know juveniles had played with the guns on several prior occasions.

"Had the laws been a little different, we would be having a totally different conversation with you right now," said Kristin.

Monday's arrest comes on the night before the Song's plan to speak at a press conference where they will announce legislation and initiatives they feel could help prevent future tragedies.

"At the press conference tomorrow we want to talk about the fact that the State's Attorney and the state was not exactly excited about the way this came down," said Mike. "So we think in the future there might be a better way to evaluate how a person handles guns in their home."

The Songs add that while they are disappointed by the State’s Attorney’s report and the arrest, they appreciate all of the hard work the Guilford Police Department and the State’s Attorney have put into the investigation.

If you would like to learn more about the Ethan Song Foundation, click here.

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