A-10-year-old Milwaukee boy is being charged with first-degree reckless homicide for fatally shooting his mother. Authorities say the young child shot and killed his mother because she wouldn’t buy him a virtual reality headset, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Prosecutors said initially, the boy told Milwaukee police the Nov. 21 shooting was an accident, but he later confessed that he intentionally pointed the gun at his mother. The boy was charged as an adult for the shooting and is currently being held in a juvenile detention facility.
Wisconsin law states that a child as young as 10 can be charged as an adult for a serious crime, but the young boy’s attorneys are seeking to move his case to juvenile court.
“This is an absolute family tragedy,” Angela Cunningham, one of the boy’s attorneys said in a statement “I don’t think anybody would deny or disagree with that … The adult system is absolutely ill-equipped to address the needs of a 10-year-old child.”
According to the criminal complaint, the fatal shooting occurred shortly before 7 a.m. on Nov. 21 near the 7400 block of North 87th Street, on the city’s northwest side. Initially, the 10- year-old Milwaukee boy told officers that he got the gun from his mother’s bedroom “and went to the basement where his mother was doing laundry. He said he was twirling the gun around his finger when it fired.”
The boy told his 26-year-old sister, who later called 911. At the time, police allowed him to stay with the family and made no arrests, noting that the shooting was caused by a child “playing” with a gun but a day later, his relatives called to reveal more concerns about the tragic incident.
On the day of the shooting, the boy’s aunt came to pick him up from the house, but she noticed that the house keys were missing. She later discovered that the boy had taken the keys, one of which opened a lock box where his mother stored a handgun. Authorities said he admitted to hiding them from his mother.
Boy had a history of disturbing behavior family says
According to The Associated Press, family members noted child showed no signs of grief or remorse around the tragic incident. It was also reported that the young boy purchased an Oculus Virtual Reality Headset using his mother’s Amazon account the day after she died. He also “physically attacked his 7-year-old cousin.”
A criminal complaint noted that the young child was previously diagnosed with a “concerning” mental health condition. Relatives said the young child had a history of disturbing behavior. When he was 4-years-old, he swung the family’s puppy around by the tail. Family members said that just six months ago, the boy “filled a balloon with a flammable liquid and set it on fire, causing an explosion that burned furniture and the carpet,” The Associated Press reported. When asked why he set the balloon on fire, the boy told his family that imaginary people were talking to him.
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