An 8-year-old boy intentionally shot and killed his elderly caregiver Thursday evening after playing the video game “Grand Theft Auto.”
The shooting, which is being called a homicide, took place in a mobile home park near Slaughter, La. The woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was found with a gunshot wound to the head. It is believed that the 8-year-old shot her while she was in the living room watching television.
Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time, investigators say they have learned that the boy was playing a video “Grand Theft Auto IV” on the Play Station III. This realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred.
The woman, who has been identified as Marie Smothers, has been described as the “current caregiver” of the boy. It is, however, still unclear what her relationship was with the child. There is also conflicting information as to Smothers’ age, with some news outlets identifying her as an 87-year-old woman and others indicating that she was 90.
The boy, whose identity has not been made known, has reportedly been released into the custody of his parents. According to Louisiana law the boy will likely not be charged with the crime because of his age.
Though the 8-year-old initially told investigators that the shooting was an accident, yet police say they believe the boy intentionally shot Smothers. But Law enforcement officials also said the child is believed to have had a “normal, loving, relationship” with the victim.The gun used in the shooting is thought to have belonged to Smothers.
There are a few disturbing things about this case. Firstly “Grand Theft Auto” is rated “M” for mature audiences and recommended for teens and adults aged 17 and older. Why does an 8-year-old have this game anyway. Studies have shown that the majority of people who play these games are in their 30’s and mostly women. So realistically they cant blame the game itself. It comes down to parental control.
Something else I find disturbing is that this child had easy access to a gun period. Once again I put this down to soft gun Laws. Lokk with tougher gun laws the weapon would have still been in the house but law should deem it be kept locked away so this child could not get it.
This shooting comes closely on the heels of two other instances that highlight the need for strict gun laws. Thus restricting who can get their hand on these weapons.
- 8-Year-Old Fatally Shoots His 90-Year Old Grandmother Marie Smothers After Playing Violent Video Game ‘Grand Theft Auto’ (medicaldaily.com)
- SMH: 8-Year-Old Boy Shoots And Kills 87-Year-Old Babysitter After Playing Grand Theft Auto (bossip.com)
- U.S News: Australian Baseball Player Shot by teens in Drive-by