Less than a week after an 8-year old boy fatally shot his grandmother in a case linked to video games, local police have declared the incident an accident. Under Louisiana law, even if it was found that the boy did intentionally kill his grandmother, he is under 10-years old and it is not considered a crime. Police are currently “trying to figure out” how best to help the boy and his grieving parents – but for now, he’s been returned to their care and is getting counselling.
East Feliciana Parish District Attorney Samuel D’Aquilla tells CNN that the boy is still “distraught” and “visibly shaken” by the events that unfolded last week.
It was determined that he did the shooting and it was an accident. He thought it was a toy gun, a play gun.
Previously, the boy had been living with his 87-year old grandmother Marie Smothers just a few miles from his parents home (reports suggest Smothers lived in a different school district to her son, the boy’s father). Last Thursday, Smothers had been watching television while the boy played Grand Theft Auto IV behind her.
At some stage, the boy picked up a .38-caliber handgun belonging to Smothers and fatally shot his grandmother from “three or four feet away”.
D’Aquilla answers an obvious question:
The gun was in a pouch or a purse. where he could obviously pick it up.
The boy is too young to enter Louisiana’s juvenile justice system, which means officials are instead putting him and his family into the FINS program (Families in Need of Services), where it is hoped they will get the help they need.