It is alleged that a 10-year-old boy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shot and killed his 44-year-old mother last week because she refused to buy him an Amazon video game headset.
The boy, who family members said has mental health issues, faces a first-degree murder charge and up to 60 years in prison if convicted.
On Nov. 21, around 7 a.m., a shooting took place at the boy’s home near 87th and Hemlock in Milwaukee.
Initially, the boy told police that he had been playing with the gun when it “accidentally went off.” His mother, Quiana Mann, was shot in the head and died. The boy then woke his sister, who discovered their mother’s death and called 911.
Police were notified of “serious concerns” by family members following the shooting.
According to a criminal complaint, the boy’s sister told detectives he has had “rage issues” all his life and talks to “five different imaginary people.” Police were told that the boy used to pick up the family puppy by its tail and “swing it around until it whinnied and howled in pain,” according to another family member.
Six months ago, the boy filled a balloon with a flammable liquid, set it on fire, and an explosion caused furniture and a carpet to burn.
According to the complaint, the boy’s mother had installed cameras inside their home to watch him, but two weeks before she was killed “someone unplugged these cameras,” according to TMJ4.
According to the sister, her brother logged onto their mother’s Amazon account and ordered an Oculus virtual reality headset the morning after their mother died.
“Each time there is violence in Milwaukee, whether it is committed by someone ten years old or much older, it gives me pause,” said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson.
Investigators were told the 10-year-old never cried or showed remorse for his mother’s death, according to his aunt. The complaint also alleges the boy told his aunt he was “actually aiming the gun at his mother.” The aunt said he apologized for killing his mother and then asked if his Amazon package had arrived the next day.
According to police, the boy confessed to getting his mother’s gun because he was angry with her for waking him up at 6 a.m. and preventing him from buying the virtual reality headset on Amazon.
According to the complaint, the boy told detectives he had taken the keys to his mom’s gun safe the night before the shooting. He allegedly pointed the gun at his mother and intended to shoot the wall to “scare her,” but she stepped in front of him.
It is exceedingly rare for someone younger than 17 to be tried as an adult, and almost unheard of for anyone younger than 10 to face adult charges under Wisconsin law.
Angela Cunningham, an attorney for the boy, said, “I don’t think anybody would dispute that this is an absolute tragedy for the family. The adult system is totally unprepared to deal with the needs of a 10-year-old.”