A 14-year-old boy allegedly shot his mother to death and critically injured her boyfriend in what a Florida sheriff described as a scene “that nightmares are made of and that is extremely heartbreaking.”
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office received several calls around 4 p.m. Saturday after a man ran out of his Tampa-area home suffering from five gunshot wounds to his torso, hands and face. More 911 calls came in about male running around with a gun and at times putting it to his head, said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.
The boy, 14, still had the gun when deputies found him and they began to try to coax the him into dropping the weapon as he kept raising it to his head, authorities said.
“Their negotiating, their de-escalating was textbook and absolutely set the example on how the de-escalations should exist,” Chronister told reporters.
After about 16 minutes, the boy dropped the gun but quickly reached for it again. That’s when deputies deployed a 40 mm launcher with a “less lethal” round to subdue the boy, who was then taken into custody without further incident, Chronister said.
Meanwhile, deputies found a woman suffering from gunshot wounds in the driveway of a home. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
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The boy’s older brother told deputies he heard his mother and boyfriend arguing followed by several gunshots. He ran out of his room to see what was going on and he saw his brother with a gun, Chronister said. The boy pointed the gun at his brother, who then ran out of the home, Chronister said.
Chronister said deputies believe the boy shot his mother’s boyfriend and then his mother, and then went after the boyfriend to kill him. The boyfriend was taken to the hospital where he was last listed in critical condition, Chronister said.
“This family’s lives have been changed forever,” Chronister said. “They lost a mother. This mother’s life is over. This 14-year-old life is over, too. He will never see the outside of a detention facility.”
No charges have been announced. Chronister said a motive is not yet known.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever know but I can tell you this: I can’t ever imagine any dispute over anything being that important that you would murder your own mother,” he said.
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