York City boy who accidentally shot himself 'loved by everyone'


The York County Coroner's Office tweeted Monday afternoon that reports showed 12-year-old Marlin Banks Jr. accidentally shot himself while he was looking at a gun in his York City home early Sunday morning.

An autopsy Monday morning showed that Marlin died of a gunshot wound to the head and that it happened accidentally, the coroner's office said.

Mourning a loss: This past year Marlin attended Camp Pennwood, a program for children with intellectual and other types of disabilities, said Josh Leik, director of operations at The Arc of York County, the organization that runs the camp.

"He was loved by everyone at Camp Pennwood," Leik said.

Leik remembered Marlin as a cheerful kid. "I always remember him smiling. He always seemed to be having a good time," he said.

And his happy demeanor spread to those around him, Leik said. "I remember everyone with him always seemed to be having a good time. He was just that type of kid."

Marlin made a similar impression on assistant camp director Lindy Hamp. "Marlin was such a charismatic young man," she said. "He had so much enthusiasm for life. I can't say enough what a wonderful kid he was and what a joy it was to have him at camp."

Camp Pennwood is a place for kids to express themselves and "be who they are," Hamp said. Marlin "took full advantage of that and lived it to the fullest," she said.

"He just made you feel like everything was going to be OK," she said.

At summer camp, Marlin loved trips to the pool. "It was always a big moment when we were getting ready to go to the pool," Hamp said.

He had a special bond with Don Noll, the camp cook.

"Marlin would get a big smile when he came up to the lunch counter," Hamp said.

Because he also worked at Marlin's school, Noll knew the boy before he started attending the camp, the cook said.

He remembered Marlin as a lively, affectionate kid who liked to watch the news and loved basketball and wrestling.

"If we had free time and were sitting around, he'd always want to wrestle like W.W.E.," he said. "If we were reading stories, he'd be the first one to cuddle up and want to listen to the stories."

Marlin was in seventh grade at Ferguson K-8.

A news release from York City School District referred to him as a "beloved" student.

"We are devastated at the loss of a student who brought smiles to the faces of his classmates and his teachers every day," the release said. "The district is providing counseling services to students and staff at this difficult time, and we will continue to do so."

What happened: Emergency personnel responded to a call to Marlin's family's home in the 200 block of North Richland Avenue around 7:40 a.m. Sunday, a York County 911 official said.

There, they found the wounded boy and a second injured person, a man York City Police Sgt. William Wentz said was related to the boy. The man had lacerations to his hand that he told police he'd gotten from punching the wall, Wentz said.

Shortly after 8 a.m., Marlin died in the emergency room at York Hospital, according to the coroner's office.

— Reach Julia Scheib at jscheib@yorkdispatch.com.