Boy, 10, ‘shot mother dead after she refused to buy him VR headset’

US

A 10-year-old boy allegedly shot and killed his mother because she would not buy him a virtual reality headset.

The boy at first claimed the shooting was an accident, but later said he intentionally aimed at his mother.

He is said to have logged into her Amazon account and ordered a headset the morning after she died, according to his aunt and sister, who claim he has not cried or showed any remorse.

The boy has been charged as an adult with first-degree reckless homicide and is in juvenile detention.

The incident happened just before 7am on 21 November in the city of Milwaukee in Wisconsin.

State law requires children as young as 10 to be charged as adults for certain serious crimes, but lawyers can request the case is moved to a juvenile court.

One of the boy’s lawyers, Angela Cunningham, said: “This is an absolute family tragedy.

“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.”

The boy is said to have told officers he got the gun from his mother’s bedroom and went down to the basement where she was doing laundry, according to criminal charges seen by the Journal Sentinel, a local newspaper.

Milwaukee Police initially said that the boy was “playing” with the gun when it fired, fatally injuring his mother.

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The force said the incident would be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney General’s Office for review.

They also reminded the public to “keep firearms secured with a gunlock and out of the reach of children”.

A day after the incident, however, concerned relatives called the police.

History of ‘disturbing behaviour’

The boy is said to have a history of “disturbing behaviour”, including swinging a puppy around by its tail when he was four.

His family told police he filled a balloon with flammable liquid and set it alight, causing an explosion that burned furniture and the carpet.

When questioned by his family, the boy said he hears imaginary people talking to him.

He also physically attacked his seven-year-old cousin on the day of the shooting.

In a second interview with police, he said he tried shooting a wall to “scare her” when she walked in front of him and was wounded, according to the charge sheet.

He also told them he took the gun because his mother woke him up 30 minutes earlier than usual, at 6am, that day.

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