An eight-year-old boy shot and killed Marie Smothers, a 90-year-old grandmother, on Thursday night in Slaughter, Louisiana. On Saturday, East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office officials said that they now believe the child deliberately shot the woman, described as his primary caregiver.
According to WAFB, the child told police that he’d accidentally shot Smothers while playing with the gun. However, after an autopsy and a more extensive investigation on Friday, the sheriff’s office now believes that the eight-year-old boy shot Marie Smothers on purpose in the back of the head while she was watching television.
In a statement, the sheriff’s office said that they couldn’t release the boy’s name because of his age. Under Louisiana law, they couldn’t charge him with the crime because he is under age 10.
Instead, he was released into the custody of his parents.
An official statement from the sheriff’s office said that they didn’t know the motive for the boy shooting the grandmother. However “investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game on the Play Station III Grand Theft Auto IV, a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred.”
Sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Garig told WWL that there was no doubt that the eight-year-old boy was the person who shot Marie Smothers.
“There’ll be an autopsy performed to determine the exact cause of death, which we believe to be a gunshot wound to the head,” he said. The gun is believed to be Marie Smothers’ own weapon, according to Baton Rouge news source WBRZ.
Family members said the relationship between the boy and Marie Smothers was normal and loving. Although investigators have hinted that the young child was confused by the violent video game, the reason why the eight-year-old boy shot the 90-year-old grandmother is currently a mystery.
[handgun photo by Guy J. Sagi via Shutterstock]