Home USA News Accusations: 10-year-old Wisconsin boy killed mom through VR headset

Accusations: 10-year-old Wisconsin boy killed mom through VR headset


MILWAUKEE (AP) – A 10-year-old Milwaukee boy deliberately pointed a gun at his mother and then shot her because…

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 10-year-old Milwaukee boy intentionally pointed a gun at his mother and then shot her because she refused to buy him a virtual reality headset, prosecutors said.

The boy initially told police the Nov. 21 shooting was an accident, according to criminal charges filed The Sentinel Magazine. But he later said he had deliberately targeted his mother before shooting her. Last week, the boy was charged as an adult with first degree negligent homicide.

Wisconsin law requires children 10 and older to be charged with certain serious crimes like adults, although the boy’s attorneys can seek to have the case transferred to juvenile court. The boy, who family members say has mental health issues, is in a juvenile detention center.

“This is an absolute family tragedy,” said Angela Cunningham, one of the boy’s attorneys. “I don’t think anyone would deny or disagree with that … The adult system is absolutely ill-equipped to meet the needs of a 10-year-old.”

The shooting happened shortly before 7 a.m. on November 21. According to the complaint, the boy initially told officers he took the gun from his mother’s bedroom and went to the basement where she was doing laundry. He said he was twirling the gun around his finger when it fired. The boy was allowed to stay with his family, and an initial police report said the shooting was caused by a child “playing” with a gun.

A day later, concerned relatives called the police.

The boy’s aunt said that when she picked up the boy, he retrieved a set of house keys that contained the key to the gun’s lock box. When his aunt asked about the shooting, the boy said he pointed the gun at his mom and she told him to put it down.

The boy’s aunt and sister said he never cried or showed remorse. They also said he logged into his mother’s Amazon account and ordered an Oculus virtual reality headset the morning after she died. That same morning, he physically assaulted his 7-year-old cousin.

Relatives said that the boy had disturbing behavior. When he was 4 years old, he swung the family’s puppy by the tail, the complaint said. Six months ago, the family told police the boy filled a balloon with flammable liquid and set it on fire, causing an explosion that burned furniture and carpet. Relatives recalled that when asked about this, the boy said that he could hear five imaginary people talking to him.

After learning these new details, Milwaukee police interviewed the boy again. This time, he told detectives, he pointed the gun at his mom with two hands while in a shooting stance. He said he tried to shoot at the wall to “scare her” as she walked in front of him, and he shot her, the complaint said.

The boy told police he took the gun out of the drawer that morning because his mother woke him up early — at 6 a.m. instead of 6:30 a.m. — and because she wouldn’t let him buy something on Amazon.

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