An Olean man is offering forgiveness to the man who shot and killed his five-year-old son.
Timothy Sherlock,35, attended the sentencing of Rodney Pittman in South Carolina last week.
South Carolina police say Pittman was drunk and high when he tried to retrieve a loaded gun in the home he lived in with Sherlock’s ex-wife and two young sons.
When the gun went off, Kalen Sherlock, asleep in the next room, was shot in the head and died a day later.
Timothy Sherlock says he was happy his ex-wife Beth was dating a nice guy like Rodney Pittman.
Sherlock said, “My kids looked up to him. They loved him. It was Rodney, this Rodney that, and it was good.”
He was supposed to watch over his two kids, Karter, 8 and Kalen, 5.
But in September, a tragic shooting happens in their South Carolina home.
Sherlock said, “The doctors say he didn’t feel anything, at their best guess he was brain dead on impact.”
Police reports show Pittman went to retrieve a gun in the kitchen cabinet and was going to clean it.
It went off, the bullets went through a wall, and hit Kalen in his head while he was sleeping.
In the hospital, Sherlock says his son was unrecognizable.
Sherlock said, “All the doctors and nurses were in there, and you just knew. He said to me, “the little boy that you know is gone, and he’s never coming back.”
Last month, Pittman pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and unlawful neglect of a child
In court on March 22,
Pittman said, “I feel horrible…He trusted me to protect him. I never thought anything would happen if I could change it, I promise I would.”
Seeing Pittman in court, he says something changed. “I could see the hurt, and all I could picture was Kalen and this little boys love for everybody, and his forgiveness for everybody.”
Sherlock asked the judge to show Pittman mercy. He believes although Kalen is gone, his spirit of forgiveness will live on.
Sherlock said, “The pain had to stop somewhere the evil had to stop somewhere my son wasn’t about that Kalen wasn’t about he wasn’t about hatred and he wasn’t about violence. The point is learning a lesson from a little boy who loved.”
Pittman was sentenced to 20 years but will only serve 5 years in prison and 15 years post release supervision.
Kalen and Karter’s mother, Beth Sherlock, still faces two counts of unlawful neglect toward a child and is awaiting trial.
Kalen’s organs were donated after his death. His dad says he saved 5 lives that day.