According to police, 92-year-old Arizona resident Anna Mae Blessing shot and killed her son, 72, to prevent being sent to a care home. Blessing lived with her son and his girlfriend for about six months before the bizarre incident took place at their resident.
As the 92-year-old was being led away by police she said “You took my life, so I’m taking yours,” according to the BBC. The murder occurred in the town of Fountain Hills, Maricopa County.
Mrs. Blessing wanted to commit a murder-suicide and had reportedly become difficult to live with.
Blessing also complained about the way her son treated her, according to her son’s girlfriend who was present in the room where the shooting took place.
According to the police account of the shooting published by Newsweek, Blessing armed herself with two pistols and hid them in her robe before she confronted her son.
During a confrontation at her son’s bedroom, Blessing pulled out a pistol and fired multiple rounds at her son, striking his neck and jaw.
She then turned the pistol toward her son’s 57-year-old girlfriend who wrestled the gun from her hand.
The 92-year-old attempted to turn the second pistol toward her son’s girlfriend, who knocked it from her hand and called the police. It is not clear whether Blessing’s son, who is not named in the report, died at the scene or at a hospital.
A report suggests the murder was premeditated as the dispute over the care home happened days before the shooting.
“From my understanding, she had thought about it for a few days because there was a dispute regarding her son wanting to put her in an assisted living home.”
Blessing is charged with one count of murder in the first degree, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of kidnapping.
When describing the tragic murder, a police officer at the scene said the following.
“It is always concerning when domestic issues escalate to violence or tragic outcomes,” says Sheriff Penzone. “They are often isolated and neither predictable nor preventable.”
Blessing is being held in jail on a $500,000 cash-only bond and under Arizona law, the 92-year-old can be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole if she is convicted.
It is unclear if Blessing is the oldest woman to be charged with murder in the state of Arizona.
In 2011, a 96-year-old woman was accused of shooting dead her nephew with a 0.357 magnum handgun. The woman in question is Amanda Rice Stevenson and is the oldest person to ever be charged with murder in the state of Florida. The charges were eventually dropped.