Trial of Teen Who Shot Parents Thrusts Halo 3 into Media Spotlight

The sorry tale of a 16-year-old who shot his parents and then tried to frame his dad for the crime is currently playing out in an Ohio court room.

Rather undeservedly, Halo 3 seems to be playing a central role in the case. Ironically, the youthful accused killer never got  a chance to actually play the game.

As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, testimony at the trial of Daniel Petric indicates that the boy shot his parents and tried to make it look like a murder-suicide after he was blocked from playing Halo 3 by his father. The elder Petric had confiscated the game from his son as the teen brought it into the house. Mr. Petric then locked it in a box – right next to his 9mm pistol. His son somehow got into the box and recoved the game – and the gun.

From the newspaper’s coverage of testimony:

Mark Petric… testified that before the shooting… [Daniel] came into the room with a question:

"Would you guys close your eyes… I have a surprise for you."

Mark Petric said he expected a pleasant surprise. The next thing he knew… He had been shot in the head…

He said the next thing he remembers is his son shoving the gun in his hand and saying, "Hey Dad, here’s your gun. Take it."

In his defense Daniel’s lawyers argued that the boy was under an emotional strain at the time of the shootings because an illness had kept him housebound for a year. During that time, his lawyers argued, he had little to do but watch TV and play video games.

Could there be additional video game testimony coming up?

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  1. exgamerdotnet says:


    Prior to his descent into his gaming addiction abyss this kid was a model student and had a very close relationship with parents, friends and church community. I’ve read several background articles dating back 14 months indicating he attended his church’s youth group faithfully, went to the gun range with his dad on weekends, did well in school, and was popular and athletic.

    This doesn’t jive with the picture you’re painting.


  2. Brokenscope says:

    Shortly before his crucifixion Jesus told his disciples if that if a man among them did not have a sword(knife) then he should sell something to purchase it. He told them this knowing that they would be traveling through an area rife with robbers and brigands.

    You also don’t seem to understand the why of love your enemies or the real meaning of turn the other cheek.

    We all, every last one of us lives by the sword/gun/tank/bomb/plane/nuke. It was a statement of fact.

  3. Brokenscope says:

    Not everyone has the convenience of a shooting range available to them. I live in a college town that is surrounded by small farming towns for an hour in every direction. The only shooting range is a private one run by some butthurt good ol’boys, who won’t let any young college “kids” join because some of my buddies thoroughly kicked their asses at the public sporting clays place.


    The only place I can safely shoot is on a friend’s farm where we built 3, 15 ft berms in a box shape.

  4. MasterAssassin says:

    JC they have the right to but the RESPONSIBILIY not too. Forcing religion on a child as far as im concerned is a form of child abuse. The only thing is that it is EMOTIONAL abuse which is often overlooked because it is not punished legally like physical and sexual abuse is. And don’t give me this bullshit about how teens rebel for "stupid reasons". Teens rebel because they are growing up and trying to be more independent and want to find thier own identities. Crap like this has led to suicides, runaways, and yes even homicide like this. What happened was tragic but the father should take some of the blame for A putting the game in the same safe as a loaded gun that his son had access to and B Forcing his religious Dogma on his kid who clearly didn’t want any part of it. Kids once they reach thier teenage years should not be forced to accept any moral or religious dogma, they should be punished when they step out of line and get into trouble but not forced to accept this man’s view of morality when his son is trying to find his own identity and grow up.

  5. exgamerdotnet says:

    You obviously don’t share my sense of humour.

    As I said on the gun issue, not my country, not my problem. This is your public policy issue. I just can’t help thinking that the outcome would have been different if there had not been a gun in that house.

    I lived in the U.S. (Philadelphia, inner city & suburbs) for five years and have nothing but good things to say about my experiences there. But political culture in our respective nations is radically different, as are attitudes and values where weapons are concerned.

    My grandfather fought his way up Vimy Ridge in 1917; I believe in a well-equipped military and municipal, provincial and federal police forces.

    I think I held a handgun and rifle for the first time about 16 months ago at a military expo in Fredericton, New Brunswick. No desire to load and fire one. Ever.


  6. GTCv Deimos says:

    Thank you. I mean… service to god, and handgun usage just strikes me as being a pair of conflicting notions… like a vegan with a drumstick.

  7. Bennett Beeny says:

    A constitution is no guarantee of democracy, as events throughout history have surely made clear.  Constitutions are never adhered to in times of national or international crisis.  The true basis of democracy lies only in a government’s deep commitment to it.  If you don’t have that, it doesn’t matter how many pieces of paper or how many flowery words you have.

  8. Bennett Beeny says:

    Because the Bible teaches us to love our enemies and, when slapped on the cheek to offer up the other cheek.  It also teaches us that he who lives with the sword (or gun) shall die with the sword (or gun) – a passage that a minister should not only know, but by which he should live his life.

  9. Bennett Beeny says:

    Okay, I guess I can understand the stress that a kid might be subject to after having a favourite game locked up, and I guess some kids might build up enough rage to kill a parent (or parents) if the game that was banned was a truly great game.  But to attempt murder over ‘Halo 3’?  This kid has got to be completely insane.

    The really ironic thing is, after this kid gets out of prison, he’s probably going to play Halo 3 and find out what a crappy game it is that prompted him to attempt murder.

  10. Austin_Lewis says:

    There are gun cabinets you know.  But to be fair to this man, his pistol was in a locked box; it just happens to be the locked box that he kept his son’s ‘contraband’ video game in as well.

    Seriously, in my home office I keep a gun cabinet with every rifle (bolt-action, anyway) from WWII, plus a very fine CMP M1 Garand.  It’s locked, but it could be broken into (if you wanted to really fuck up your hand, it has the criss-cross chicken wire in the glass).  Some firearms are made for display; look at Auto-Ordnance’s new Presentation Grade 1911, it comes with a slide for presentation and display and a slide for actual use, and it’s made to look fancy and beautiful.

    I urge parents when they have children in the home to either A) teach them firearm safety from an early age or B) keep firearms they don’t use dissassembled.  Or do what I’ve done; get a gun cage in your basement.  If you’re going to keep a pistol or shotgun or an AR for home defence, keep it well hidden and make sure your children know not to touch it when you’re not around without your permission, but keep the rest locked up and/or disassembled.  That also helps crack down on thugs being able to get their hands on good pistols, mainly because your average street thug knows less about firearms than he does about working.

    As for shooting ranges, they tend to be very safe places.  I’ve never seen anyone hurt at the one I go to, and I go at least once a week with two boxes of Magtech .45ACP’s.  Target shooting is a lot of fun, and far safer than any other sport.

  11. Chuma says:

    No problem with shooting ranges, in fact I would love to practice at one.  Of course I have to raise the obvious question – Why don’t you leave the guns locked up and secured at the shooting range instead of home in a cabinet?

  12. Austin_Lewis says:

    I was waiting for one of you Brits to catch on to that, thank God.  It seems silly when I have to say they don’t have a constitution over in Jolly old England.

  13. rma2110 says:

    This guy kills both his parents and when framing good old doesn’t work, tries to excuse his actions with a video game? I really hope a jury never buys this crap.

  14. Nekowolf says:

    I’ve heard of her. I learned the jumprope ryhme from my mother.

    "Lizzie Borden took an axe,
    And gave her mother forty whacks.
    And when she saw what she had done,
    She gave her father forty-one."

  15. Nekowolf says:

    Actually, I think the opposite, that parents shouldn’t have the right to force their kids into their religion; they can teach their kids about their religion, I think, but not force them into it. *shrugs* Though that’s just my opinion and how I’d raise my kid if I ever have one.

  16. thefremen says:

     His dad was a pastor. I wonder what Jesus would say about him owning a handgun? Perhaps this is a bit of poetic justice arranged by the allmighty didn’t anyone think of that?


    Scenario sounds very old testament to me, what with the woman getting the shit end of it even though she had little to do with anything.


  17. Nekowolf says:

    Well, the thing is, there doesn’t even need to be any dysfunctionality on part of the family, just the kid. Not saying I know exactly what happened, just, some mental and social issues aren’t derived so much from poor family, but rather from other factors.

  18. JC says:

    Parents have their right to force religious beliefs upon their children until they hit 18. They are responsible for him, and they didn’t approve of Halo3 at his age. The parents did everything right in their mind, they are the parents, the unfortunate side was that the son broke into the locked cabinet with the gun (where his Halo3 resided) and grabbed the gun and shot his parents as a "surprise."

    I’m more amazed the father can forgive his own son, but that isn’t something I can agree with, he needs to be punished for killing his mother.

    The incidents were draconian religious beliefs screw up people is when they are adults that are still controlled by their parents past their teen age. So what if teens rebel? Teens rebel for any stupid reason to look "cool".

    I still feel for the father though, to question where he went wrong with his parenting, and to even forgive his son for what he did… that just eats at you.

  19. Doomsong says:

    So what about kids who killed thier parents without guns BEFORE video games were around?

    Lizzie Borden… anyone heard of her? Or is axe murder not as "Media Savy"?

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" – Benjamin Franklin

  20. BlackIce says:

    We don’t have a single written Constitution. Just a few fragmented legal documents – the Magna Carta for example.

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  21. shady8x says:

    I felt like throwing up when I read about the surprise part…

    I hope this kid gets lots of pleasent surprises in prison…

  22. Daria_C says:

    I was gonna tear into you for getting the constitution wrong Ryno, but pleanty of people beat me too it. =P

  23. MasterAssassin says:

    Based on what I’ve seen, this kid was sheltered badly and raised in a very religious household with draconian Christian values. This is precisely why parents should NOT force their religious beliefs on thier children. They should teach thier children thier values but it should be up to them to make thier own decisions once they reach high school. This kid was 16 not 6 and while their is no excuse for what he did, but tragedies like this could be prevented if parents didn’t force thier religious beliefs on thier teenage children. Teenagers do not respond well to this, they rebel and in rare cases tragedies like this happen.

  24. TJLK says:

    I think a lot of times people confuse government with country and often think they are the same.  The truth is sometimes to save your country you must overthrow the government.

    This idea that government can’t be the enemy is absolutely disturbing to me.  You do know there once was a time when people had government on the top of their list of enemies.  That day needs to come once more so government can be kept in line.  Tyranny never lives for long…

  25. Austin_Lewis says:

    ‘Busting a few caps together’ is an inane comment.  Only jackasses in ghettos refer to a trip to the shooting range as ‘busting caps’.  Of course, I appreciate that your take on the topic is something you have no knowledge of, being Canadian and all, but I’m annoyed you feel that you can categorize people who go to shooting ranges so broadly and ignorantly.  Don’t worry though, most of what I’ve seen you say on here thus far has been amazingly ignorant anyway, so you’re really just living up to the old standards.

    Why own a handgun?  Why not?  It’s been shown time and time again that A)People who legally own guns have far lower crime rate B) that goes even moreso for those who have CCW’s and C)areas where CCW permits are issued have lower crime rates than areas where they aren’t.  So why shouldn’t a citizen be able to own a handgun?  Aside from that, taking a child to the range to fire a handgun is a great why to instill discipline, safety, and proper care for equipment in a child. 

  26. Austin_Lewis says:

    Depends on the home.  Honestly, if you have a small home, get a 12 gauge.  Nothing scares criminals like the pump-action shotgun and the noise it generates.

    But to each his own.  I know people who use silenced 1911s for home defense, I personally use an M14 (I have three floors, and all my family is on the top floor, plus the stairs are right by the master bedroom, which means I can control the only route up the stairs), and I’ve heard of even stranger things.  It all depends on what you’re going for; deterrence, lethality, etc.

    There’s no one good answer, in other words.

  27. Austin_Lewis says:

    ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms’ IS  ABSOLUTELY about the ability to overthrow the government in the event of a slide into fascism.  I suggest that everyone who thinks otherwise go watch Penn & Teller’s episode about it on their series Bullshit, mainly because you appear to be amazingly uninformed.

  28. Derovius says:

     It should be considered a hate crime to refer to people who play games as criminals; I see it no different than someone assuming that a African person who grew up impoverished is automatically a thug.

     I wonder if we can sue for libel.

  29. Baruch_S says:

    Depends how you interpret "the security of a free state." Preserving that security could involve revolting against the federal government. The people aren’t currently a militia, but they could form one rather quickly if necessary.

  30. Ryno says:

    I think you should reread the ammendment:

    "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    This is for the defense of the country, not to overthrow the government, you know, in the days before a standing army.

  31. BearDogg-X says:

    According to Kotaku, this happened just before the Cleveland Indians-Boston Red Sox playoff game, so you could blame this more on baseball.

    All in all, it’s another pathetic attempt to get a murderer off the hook. The "video game defense" has failed everytime.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  32. jkdjr25 says:

    A Minister needs a hand-gun for the same reason most law abiding people own one, self defense and defense of home. For protection of hearth and home whether that protection be from criminals or the government itself.

  33. tony selby says:

    i can shed some light as to the right to bear arms.

    The founding fathers of this country (the USA) when they wrote the bill of rights had just finished a bloody war where they revolted against what they viewed as an unjust government.  They reconized the fact that a time in the future may come where that would be necessary yet again, and if the people were to want to revolt against their newly formed government the right to own and bear guns would be necessary

  34. PHX Corp says:

    I dont believe in carrying a gun but I’m neither Republican(Tory where you Live, brad) nor Democrat(Labour) and I know both the British and US Constution’s Very well, but I’m afriad of the milita clause that it says in the US constution(This article is, More or less going to lead to more Gun control)

  35. exgamerdotnet says:

    This is first and foremost a family tragedy. Why did this kid snap? I don’t see an insanity plea in either article I’ve read here, so I’ll be interested to read the verdict and sentencing recommendations.

    From the Plain Dealer:

    "Daniel Petric’s lawyers also gave a short opening statement to the judge. They said their client had been under great stress because of a snowboarding accident that resulted in a severe staph infection.

    He was homebound for a year with nothing to do but watch television and play video games."

    Why would a minister need a hand-gun? The articles from the Cleveland Plain Dealer indicate dad and son used to enjoy busting a few caps together at the gun club on weekends. Constitutional right to bear arms, blah, blah, blah. (I’m one of those Canadian socialist types who doesn’t get the need for handguns in private homes, but to each his own in the United States. Not my country, not my problem).


  36. GTCv Deimos says:

    If there’s any glorified knee-jerk reaction the idiot media should be highlighting, it’s "BUY YOUR KIDS HALO 3, OR THEY’LL SHOOT YOU IN THE FACE!"

    *edit* why would a minister need a hand-gun?

  37. Lucid says:

    That’s pretty much exactly what they call it.

    I can’t really fathom how a family can be so dysfunctional as to result in a son deciding his best course of action is to kill his parents in cold blood and frame it as a murder suicide. It’s so shameful. I don’t know how the parents raised the boy, but I can only feel sorry for them. your own child trying to kill you… That’s horrible.

  38. Twin-Skies says:

    "In his defense Daniel’s lawyers argued that the boy was under an emotional strain at the time of the shootings because an illness had kept him housebound for a year. During that time, his lawyers argued, he had little to do but watch TV and play video games."

    Don’t they call this the Twinkie Defense?

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  39. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    "I say unban the wacko! I miss the entertainment."

    Seconded. I need my 1u1z.

    "No… let’s not and say we didn’t."

    1u1zkiller is killing 1u1z. Begone.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  40. Ryno says:

    I think he hasn’t bothered to get around his most recent ban.

    I say unban the wacko! I miss the entertainment.

  41. DeepThorn says:

    Since this kid evidently has more than a bit of a psychological problem if he is willing to go that far, I would have to agree.  It makes me wonder how the kid was acting before he got the game, if he ever had a history of being physically violent, and much more…   This just isn’t right, and this kid definitely needs help.  If he wasn’t screwed up enough before, once he fully realizes what he has done to his mom, he will be fucked up for the rest of his life.

    Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
    How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

  42. Nekowolf says:

    I dunno. I mean, did he honestly expect such drastic actions? It was locked inside a lockbox, first of all. So his son had to take the effort to break into it. But then to go as far as shoot them? I can’t say the father has any fault in it, regardless, as it’s not like he put the game and the gun on a kitchen counter.

    In the end, this kid was just that insane.

  43. Baruch_S says:

    Obviously because teens don’t need to play violent video games to become violent; they can absorb the violence via osmosis as long as the game is in the same room. Numerous studies have shown this; where have you been?

  44. Doomsong says:

    Because not blaming it wouldn’t get as much media attention?

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" – Benjamin Franklin

  45. VideolandHero says:

    He never played the game, so why is the game still getting blamed?

    Epic fail.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  46. DarkTetsuya says:

    I just hope you deleted all the paragraph breaks to post it here… that’s just a lot of text to lump together all at once.

    But if it’s anything like the other "news" outlets, it’ll prolly skip right to the recycle bin, I’m afraid. :/

    300 Episodes and counting:

  47. Kater says:

    I was watching the news today and it ends up yes, the media is blaming video games for this.  They basically said all violent video games caused this and for parents to not give their kids violent games.  They tried to make video games look like garbage so I wrote a letter to the newstation,, about this.  I am currently waiting for a reply but this is what I wrote: 

    Dear WKYC,

                    I am writing on behalf of the boy who shot his parents due to them taking away Halo.  I am a 16 year old game playing Junior.  I also develop games in my free time.  Gaming is a passion to me and I believe gaming is a great way to relax as well as go into virtual world.  Seeing your station focus on the violence of games and saying it was the main agitator in this boys shooting I find extremely wrong.  While I was watching this, the media was focusing on the fact that this boy shot his parents most likely due to the violence depicted in Halo 3.  While Halo 3 is a game that involves shooting, it does not depict realistic violence.  It is set in a fantasy world using fantasy weapons.  I do agree with your news story that games can build aggression and also can be addicting, though I would like to make the argument that any form of media can be addicting.  Also, the case you are trying to make is playing a video game in which you shoot people affects a person more in building aggression that playing Paintball or Airsoft does where you are shooting people in a non-fantasy setting, in which I find hard to believe.  In addition, I would also like to point out that 99% of all High School boys play video games as proven here: .  The article also goes onto say that 94% of teenage girls do.  96% of those teens say they play games regularly.  I also want to bring up the sales of Halo 3. .  This article states that it sold 3.3 million copies in the United States in the first 12 days of sales, total sales is most likely well beyond that still.  Yet the case is trying to be made that Halo 3 and other violent games like cause kids to out lash in that fashion.  If 94% of all teenagers play video games regularly and a large amount of those teenagers purchased Halo 3, can you really say that one action by a teenage boy is the cause of Halo 3?  Personally, I would think no.  I would think the boy had a psychological problem in the first place and games should not be blamed for the cause of this.  This has happened a lot lately, games being the ones people blamed.  If we look back on history people have blamed television, movies, all forms of entertainment before they fully enter society.  I believe it was wrong how the news program presented this and would like to inform you that I think it is wrong to blame video games for something like this.  The problems were obviously not singly due to video games.  He had many other problems besides that, yet the media focused on the video games.  I find it wrong to see the media industry doing this and would like to see an end of the constant blame people give to video games.   


    Blake Gross

    If you would like to write a letter as well send it to the  I am presonally outraged by how the media handled this giving video games the blame for a mental problem the child obviously had.  

  48. MrKlorox says:

    Wow… I would have shot the kid back right then and there if I were the father and had any ability to. Then again if I was the father I would have more sense than to put the game in a box that has a gun that my kid could get into. I would also not be outraged that Halo was brought into my household.

    Piece of shit kid deserves prison. Hope he likes ass rape!

  49. Chaltab says:

    Hopefully the jury will be wise enough not to assume the violence of the video game had anything to do with the shootings.

    And if the kid had cabin fever before, he’s really going to be crazy now that he’s comitted a violent crime, what with being locked up in jail and all.

  50. GoodRobotUs says:

    An terrible event, but, as Frank Zappa said, it could have been anything that set him off, especially if he was suffering from ‘Cabin Fever’ or a form of it.


    I hope the young man gets the help he needs.

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