A seven-year-old little girl, 7-year-old Emma Watson Nowling, is dead and her mother is in critical condition after a shooting at the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, Michigan. While the media was still reporting on the San Bernardino shooting, another tragic shooting was taking place. A little girl was leaving soccer practice when a family friend opened fire on the child and her mother. The shooter then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. Witnesses at the Taylor Sportsplex say that the man was happily interacting with the little girl at practice, but something changed as the pair left. The man, 57-year-old Timothy Nelson Obeshaw, allegedly felt that someone was trying to use “mind control” on him. For some reason currently unknown to police, he targeted the little girl and her mother, family friends of the man.
Michigan Live reports that 7-year-old Emma Watson Nowling was killed in Taylor, Michigan, after shots rang out at the Taylor Sportsplex. The shooter, Timothy Nelson Obeshaw, was close with the little girl and her mother, 37-year-old Sharon Elizabeth Watson. Witnesses say the man brought the little girl to soccer practice at the Taylor Sportsplex and was having a good time with the child before the shooting. The witnesses said that the man seemed happy to see the child and that the little girl seemed happy to see him as well. There were no signs of an altercation during the soccer practice, but following the practice, Obeshaw allegedly approached the child and her mother as they were getting in their car and began opening fire into the vehicle.
— Nick Monacelli (@nickmonacelli) December 4, 2015
Police note that after shooting the little girl and her mother outside of the Sportsplex, Obeshaw then turned his 9 mm pistol on himself. Police were initially baffled by the Taylor, Michigan, shooting but say that those who knew Obeshaw say he was fearful that someone was trying to use “mind control” on him and that he thought someone was out to get him. The mentally disturbed man had a concealed carry permit and owned the 9 mm gun legally which he used to kill the girl and critically injure her mother.
The shooting in Michigan you didn’t hear about yesterday. https://t.co/hrOmeMhGiA
— Jonathan (@jvbeck90) December 5, 2015
According to Click on Detroit, mental instability is the perceived cause of the tragedy, noting that the man was very close with the mother and daughter, even living with them at one point. In fact, the man was such a good family friend that he had been seen at the little girl’s soccer practices in the past. Though the family knew Obeshaw, police say that the man had become mentally disturbed in the recent months before moving back to Taylor, Michigan.
“Our investigation revealed after talking to witnesses and family members that apparently Mr. Obeshaw had been experiencing mental instability over the past year or so. We found evidence that Obeshaw believed that someone was trying to control him through mind control… he thought someone was out to get him.”
The man was experiencing mental instability and police say he is not someone that should have been allowed to own a handgun or qualify for a concealed carry permit due to mental health issues. Taylor Police Chief Mary Sclabassi says, however, that there was nothing documented about Obeshaw’s condition. Therefore, it was impossible for the police or the seller of the gun to know that Obeshaw was suffering from a mental illness.
“Of course, this is a tragic situation and the thought that maybe if the right person had the right information at the right time could have prevented this, of course it’s very frustrating. Clearly this was an individual who needed help. Clearly this is an individual who should not have been able to purchase a handgun just this past September.”
Sharon Elizabeth Watson is expected to recover from her injuries but is currently listed in critical condition. Obeshaw died from his self-inflicted gunshot wound.
What do you think about the Taylor, Michigan, Sportsplex shooting? Should the government do more to ensure that mentally unstable individuals are not given access to weapons? What could have been done to prevent this terrible tragedy?
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