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10-Year-Old Shot His Mother to Death After She Refused to Buy Him VR Headset: Prosecutors


After it was originally suggested that a 10-year-old boy shot and killed his mother by mistake, family members have reportedly come forward with disturbing details about the child’s history and actions after the deadly incident.

The young defendant is now charged with first-degree reckless homicide, one of several crimes that default to adult court for defendants as young as 10. He allegedly carried out the act after his mother refused to buy him a VR headset, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Police said they received a call on Nov. 21 to the 7400 block of North 87th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The boy allegedly claimed he took the gun from his mother’s bedroom down to the basement. As she was doing laundry, he was twirling it around his finger when it went off. His sister, age 26, called 911.

But family members stepped foward with disturbing details.

The boy allegedly told his aunt that he pointed the firearm at his mother.

“Why do you have that?” his mother reportedly said. “Put that down.”

The motive allegedly began to emerge on Nov. 22, the morning after the shooting, when the boy allegedly purchased the Oculus Virtual Reality Headset his mother would not buy. In addition, he allegedly attacked his 7-year-old cousin and had to be pulled off of the younger child. In this account, the aunt took the boy to his grandmother’s home to meet child welfare workers. The grandmother was crying.

“I’m really sorry for what happened,” he allegedly said with no empathy or compassion. “I’m sorry for killing my mom.”

Then he asked if his Amazon package arrived, police said.

Family also said the boy engaged in alarming behavior for years.

For example, he swung their puppy by the tail until the animal howled. His mother got rid of the dog, worried the animal would attack her son in self-defense. In another incident, the boy allegedly poured some kind of flammable liquid into a balloon. He set fire to it at home, causing an explosion and burning furniture and carpet. Asked by his mother why he did that, he allegedly said his “two sisters told him to do it.” He claimed to hear five imaginary people speaking to him: two sisters, an older woman, a man, and a “mean” man.

Family described the boy as having “rage issues.” He was smart and manipulative, they said. It got to the point where relatives refused to babysit him.

With this new information in mind, cops interviewed him again. The boy allegedly confessed to aiming the gun at his mother with both hands. He stated that he took the gun from the lockbox because his mother woke him up 30 minutes early and also would not allow him to buy something on Amazon, police said.

During the incident, he was in a shooting stance, he allegedly said. According to cops, he said that he mean to shoot a wall to “scare her,” but she walked in front of him.

Bail was set at $50,000. Prosecutors wanted it at $100,000.

“This is an absolute family tragedy,” his attorney Angela Cunningham told the outlet. “I don’t think anybody would deny or disagree with that.”

She said that the adult criminal justice system “is absolutely ill-equipped to address the needs of a 10-year-old child.”

[Screenshot via WISN]

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