- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2008

COCKEYSVILLE, Md. (AP) — Baltimore County police yesterday charged a 15-year-old boy with fatally shooting his parents and his two younger brothers as they slept at their home in a suburb north of Baltimore.

Nicholas W. Browning of Cockeysville was charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder in the slayings Friday of his father, John W. Browning, 45; his mother, Tamara, 44; and his brothers Gregory, 13, and Benjamin, 11.

Police spokesman Bill Toohey said the teen was formally charged yesterday at 1:05 a.m. after he admitted to the killings.

The teen had not been getting along with his father, according to a police press release. On Friday night, he went into the house after other family members were asleep and shot each of them using one of his father’s guns, which was in the house, police said.

After the slayings, he threw the handgun into bushes near his house, police said. The gun has been recovered, Mr. Toohey said.

Mr. Toohey said the teen then spent Friday night and all day Saturday with friends. When the friends took him home at Saturday at 5 p.m., he went inside, then came back out to say that his father was dead. He called 911, and officers responded to “a call of a cardiac arrest,” according to charging documents.

“A caller reported to 911 that a 45-year-old male was lying on the couch with blood coming out of his nose. He was not breathing,” the documents stated.

Police officers found the teen’s father dead in a ground-floor room and his mother and brothers in upstairs bedrooms. There was no sign of a confrontation in the house, Mr. Toohey said.

About 50 people — mostly teenagers — gathered for a candlelight vigil in front of the Brownings’ house last night.

A girl who identified herself only as Millicent and a classmate of Gregory’s at Cockeysville Middle School told the crowd that “sixth-graders shouldn’t have to go through this.”

The crowd stood in silence for about 10 minutes, although there was much weeping.

Gary Wilmer said he did not know the family well but went to the candlelight vigil to show support for the grieving young people.

“Kids need adults to step in and comfort them,” he said.

John Thibeault said he and his son, Kyle, who went to school with Benjamin, were both “traumatized” by the deaths. He said his family locked their doors Saturday night, fearing a killer was on the loose.

Mr. Thibeault described Nicholas Browning as “just a regular, normal kid.”

Story Continues →