An eight-year-old Louisiana boy was with his parents Sunday after authorities said he would not be charged in the shooting death of his 90-year-old grandmother.
The youngster was believed to have shot the woman in the back of the head in her mobile home near Slaughter Thursday after spending the afternoon playing a video game in which the players shoot at digital targets, the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game on the Play Station III ‘Grand Theft Auto IV,’ a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred, the sheriff’s office said in a written statement.
WAFB-TV said it was at first thought that shooting was an accident; however, the case was later reclassified as a deliberate homicide.
The child, however, will not face charges. Under Louisiana law, children under the age of 10 are exempt from prosecution, although the juvenile justice system could still become involved, WAFB said.
The victim was identified by neighbors as Marie Smothers, who was the child’s caregiver.
The shooting will likely attract the attention of critics of violent video games. CNN said President Obama last year ordered further study of the possible connection between video games and real-life shootings such as the sprees at a Colorado movie theatre and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.