A 10-year-old boy has been charged as an adult in the death of his mother, with police saying he shot her because he was angry she would not buy him a virtual reality headset.
The boy has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide.
“This is an absolute family tragedy,” Angela Cunningham, an attorney for the child, said, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “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,” she said.
Initially, the shooting was classified as an accident. The boy told police he was twirling the gun around a finger before it “accidentally went off.” He then alerted his sister, who called 911, according to a criminal complaint.
The boy, whose name was not published because of his age, was allowed to remain with his family until family members contacted the police the next day with “serious concerns.”
His 26-year-old sister told officers he has “rage issues,” according to the criminal complaint.
“He becomes very angry and acts out,” she said.
The boy’s aunt also shared her concerns with the police, according to the Journal-Sentinel.
10-year-old Milwaukee boy charged as an adult in the fatal shooting of his mother https://t.co/if9hUHjbGO
— Journal Sentinel (@journalsentinel) November 30, 2022
According to the aunt, the boy told her he pointed the gun at his mother, who told him, “Why do you have that? Put that down.”
The complaint said the boy’s aunt and sister learned that after Mann was dead, the 10-year-old ordered an Oculus virtual reality headset through her Amazon account.
The boy’s aunt told police that when he went to his grandmother’s house, he said, “I’m really sorry for what happened. I’m sorry for killing my mom,” without any compassion — and then asked if the Amazon package had arrived.
Family members told police that when the boy was 4, he swung a puppy by the tail until it screamed in pain. Six months ago, they said, he put a flammable liquid in a balloon and set it on fire indoors, burning some furniture in the process.
They also told police the child said he has five separate imaginary people who speak to him.
Detectives then interviewed the boy again, and he told them he was angry with his mother over not getting what he wanted from Amazon and because she woke him up earlier than he wanted, according to the WTMJ.
The boy explained that the night before the shooting, he secured his mother’s keys to open the gun lock, according to WISN-TV in Milwaukee.
“He went to the basement and took up a shooting stance. He admitted knowing that guns can kill people,” the complaint said.
“Before he fired the shot, he closed his left eye,” it said. “His mother walked in front of him when he tried to shoot the wall to ‘scare her,’ whereupon he admitted that he shot her in the face when she was approximately 3 feet away from him.
“After shooting his mother, he put the gun in the living room closet, and then afterwards, informed his older sister.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.