Earlier in the week I wrote about a shooting in Louisiana where an 8-year-old boy shot his 87-year-old grandmother while she was watching television, killing her. You can read my initial post here. The police and media immediately had a freak out, latching on to the most sensational aspect of the story. Allegedly, the boy, was playing Grand Theft Auto IV.
Well, turns out that perhaps the media jumped to conclusions a bit. Who would have thought? Police initially called the shooting a homicide. It turns out that it was just a horribly tragic accident as reported by the Huffington Post and Game Politics.
According to District Attorney Samuel D'Aquilla, "It's not a crime if he's under 10 years old. We're still trying to figure out how to help this juvenile and his parents... It was determined that he did the shooting and it was an accident. He thought it was a toy gun, a play gun."
That "toy" gun was actually a .38 caliber handgun. Obviously, it was loaded and easily accessible to the boy and that is the true tragedy to this whole mess friends. Yes, he should not have had access to M-rated GTAIV either, but it's apparent from the situation, that this boy was not in the best environment. He was currently living in a small trailer with his grandmother, and custody of the boy has passed back and forth between his parents and grandmother. It's fair to say that this child has had a tough going so far.
The child is now back with his parents. Reports from police say that the relationship the boy had was his grandmother was "normal and loving", which makes this incident even more tragic.
Don't expect a mea culpa from the "established" media on this though. The Huffington Post article was still full of snark and took some shots at gaming, even when it's apparent that gaming was just an unrelated aspect in this tragedy.
Would love to hear more from the community on this. What are some of your thoughts? Why do you feel the fact that there was an easily accessible .38 or that the boy has not been in the best environment are being glossed over?