Report: 9-Year Old Dies in Fatal Imitation of Smackdown vs. Raw

A 9-year-old Brooklyn boy died this week after jumping from the roof of his apartment building with a makeshift parachute.

The New York Daily News quotes a playmate as saying that the fatal plunge taken by Damori Miles was inspired by THQ’s WWE Smackdown vs. RAW. However, a WWE official denied that parachutes are used in the T-rated game:

Shakar, Damori’s best friend, said his pal was imitating his favorite PlayStation2 game, "WWE SmackDown vs Raw."

"He tried to do a swan dive like Jeff Harding does in ‘SmackDown.’ That was his favorite game. He played it all the time," Shakar said…

A a spokesman for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), said the video was designed for ages 13 and up and none of the characters use parachutes or jump off buildings.

"The death of Damori Miles is a tragedy and our condolences go out to his family," he said. "We should allow the authorities to conduct a full investigation… including insecure roof access, before conclusions are made about this unfortunate incident.

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  1. Ashkihyena says:

    There’s always a big warning at the beginning of the shows, and for the games, yeah, every other line mentions not doing that at home.

  2. JacobAWD says:

    Why the hell does a 14 year old like me play M games? I can tell the difference between a plot and just beating the hell out of random things.

  3. JacobAWD says:

    If no one was there to witness a special needs 9 y/o who lived in a 13 story apartment with an open roof acess, how can the friend say he imitaded a wrestling move he saw in a PS2 game?!?

    Also, if he’s a special needs kid, why does the parent let him play a violent game? Why was he left almost unsupervised? And why is it that no one thought anything was wrong when the boy was going to the roof with a plastic bag tied to his shirt?

    My dad said that if the kid is doing something wrong, blame the parent (although he also said he’d disown me if I got in trouble with the law).

    My little brother was a special needs kid fom preschool to the third grade. Because of all the special treatment and him being treated like an equal to me (he always did what I did regardles of age, hight, ect…), now he has anger problems, spoiled (realy spoild), and is at a near unhealthy obsession with videogames. And because no one acualy lives with him full time, its never his fault.

    Moral of the story, special needs kids can never have too much or too little attention. They will either hurt themselves or will be psycologicaly scarred. This family was on the too little end.

  4. TBoneTony says:

    Here we go again, another kid dies, another scapegoat to be found, another case of parents trying to blame Videogames in order not to blame themselves for their bad parenting decisions.

    I feel sorry for the parents, but when they/(or the media) try to link Videogames into it then I have nothing else to say.


  5. Saxy says:

    Has anybody seen the movie Good Son? This might be like that. I mean, the alarm was broken, the door was unlocked, and the kid’s brother apparently knows what happened, but claims he wasn’t there. I think something’s up, and the kid is scapegoating video games just like all the other criminals have over the past years.


  6. Keith K says:

    10 storeys?! Make-shift PARACHUTE?!

    What do these 2 CRITICAL details have to do with wrestling in any capacity? Was he trying to imitate the tragic death of Owen Heart which ocurred before his own birth?! Yet another tragic accident arbitrarily blamed on entertainment media.

    How did this 9 year old child find himself unsupervised on top of a 10 storey building attached by string to a garbage bag?

  7. gamadaya says:

    I don’t think there is a parachute in the swan dive. In fact, I don’t think that videogames or wrestling are related to this at all. This is a quote from the boys friend:

    "That [swan dive] was what he was trying to do. If I would have seen him up there, I would have told him not to do it."

    So nobody actually saw this happen. The only reason the media have to report it this way is the speculation of an 11 year old boy. He may be right, but logic dictates that this kid was just trying to see how his home made parachute works. And according to many comments in this thread, that is not at all an uncommon phenomenon. I know I was tempted as a little kid to try stuff like this. The only reason I didn’t die was that I tried it on a much smaller scale at first, and quickly saw that an umbrella is a shitty substitute for a parachute.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  8. ZippyDSMlee says:

    And would be no diffrent if they copied the TV show….NEXT!


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.

  9. imroadkill2 says:

     Wow, I think your a better detective then everyone that blamed the video games.


    I blame M.C. Hammer also.

  10. imroadkill2 says:

    Now I never did watch wrestling, but I have played many of the games.


    But can someone please educate me on where a parachute was in a swan dive?  I mean seriously, This kid went to the top of the building with a makeshift parachute and tried to.. Swan dive..  I mean I always thought the whole point was to go down fast and hard not slowed..


    –  Video games are the easy button to any crime or stupidity.

  11. gamadaya says:

    Headline is missing "Media Reports" in front of it. Because that isn’t what actually happened.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  12. TK n Happy Ness says:

    The kid committed suicide because there are disclaimers during Raw, ECW, AND Smackdown telling people that the stars in the WWE are trained professionals and to not try anything they do at home, and he chose to ignore them. And why the hell was a 9 year old playing a T rated game?

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  13. PHOENIXZERO says:

    I read about this yesterday and had to roll my eyes because it’s just stupid. Kids have been jumping off roofs or other high places for decades, back in the 50s with the George Reeves Superman with (dumb) kids putting towels around their neck and thinking they could fly resulting in broken limbs, hangings and deaths. Was the show to blame back then? Of course not! Now with this it’s even more far fetched since the game has no parachutes nor is there any actual defying of gravity and quite frequently shows the consequences of missing such moves (though the selling is generally awful) and that is especially true for actual wrestling. There are so many REAL factors that contributed to this that for the media to put it on a game is typical sensational BS at its best.


    Also, awful headline for this story, would the headline be similar if it involved some other game, such as GTA? "9-Year Old Dies in Fatal Imitation of Grand Theft Auto". Yeah, don’t recall ever seeing one like that. This is just as absurd as all the "GTA or some other M rated game made them do it" stories.

  14. krotoslol says:

    T rated game is rated T.


    Boy is 9.


    FAIL, He shouldn’t have been playing it.




    plus, he’s an idiot.

  15. Sai says:

     Oh come on kids always do dumb things like this, they don’t need any provocation from media. I knew kids who would jump off roofs into snow banks just because they could.

    This kid was just both dumb and unlucky.


  16. GoodRobotUs says:

    Poor kid 🙁

    This happens every generation alas, you always get a few instances where children, convinced they are Superman or Hercules or other famous character, try to do something really tragic 🙁

    I knew a kid who wanted to be like Wolverine from the Marvel comics, even to the point of cutting his knuckles open with a knife once, the fault wasn’t Marvels’, he was just a very lonely kid who wanted to be more than he was. That’s not a bad dream, but you have to start from who you are, not who you want to be.

  17. mogbert says:

    I had a friend who broke his leg doing the same thing from the house. He wasn’t a gamer nor watched wrestling. Guess what, this happens a lot more then you would think. Kids often think that a bedsheet would make a suitable parachute, and that jumping from the top of the house is pleanty of time to float safely to the ground. Blaming a wrestling game for a kid making a parachute out of a sheet is as helpful as blaming M.C. Hammer and his parachute pants.

  18. Krit says:

    There were parachutes in that game and you can jump off a building? I can’t see any resemblence here…

  19. ezbiker555 says:

    This is sad. EZK is right though, nobody should be blammed in this. Familys really just need to try their best and keep an eye on their loved ones.

  20. NovaBlack says:

    the kid was 9.

    the kid had special needs.

    The kid was lefyt unsupervised while the mom went to the store.

    The roof wasnt locked.



    and games are to blame?? what…?

  21. _Captain_Marvel_ says:

    They’re balming WWE for a childs death again ? Didn’t know we traveled back to 1998 .

  22. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Question. According to this quote from the friend:

    "He tried to do a swan dive like Jeff Harding does in ‘SmackDown.’ That was his favorite game. He played it all the time," Shakar said.

    "That was what he was trying to do. If I would have seen him up there, I would have told him not to do it."

    The friend was not there to witness the jumping. So how did he know the kid was imitating the game or wrestler?

    Also, according to the article, the roof door was not only unlocked, but the alarm was broken. I think I would be looking at the building super before blaming a game.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
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  23. magic_taco says:

    The stupidest thing i’ve done when i was a kid was trying to mimic a dropkick when i was a kid and i got hurt.


    Boy i cried hard that day.


    But what that kid wasnt right, I pray the family will pull through the incident.

  24. zel says:

    I have to admit when i was like 8 I jumped off a roof with an umbrella to see if it would at least slow me down at all, no luck. The roof was maybe 8 foot high and I regularly jumped off it without anything just for the fun of it though so, kids do that. It’s a sad thing to lose a kid, mine died before he was even born but its still a very sad thing so i understand how they feel.

    but ya, to say its the game’s fault is jut blame shifting, which is useless. Somebody shoulda kept a closer eye, and access to the roof of a large building shouldn’t be unlocked either for many reasons, this being one.


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  25. Yuuri says:

    My B/F plays these games. It is mentioned by the announcers during the matches for ‘folks not to try this at home.’ The blurb would generally pop up after someone did a high risk manouver.

  26. Danny Internets says:

    So when the whole blaming wrestling games thing doesn’t pan out I guess they’ll move on to Mirror’s Edge? Or maybe they’ll branch out to movies?

    What happened to the boy and his family is a terrible thing that I would not wish on anyone, but blaming video games, as always, is neither sensicle nor is it going to help them or anyone else in any way. Gaming news and commentary for the socially-adjusted nerd.

  27. nighstalker160 says:

    So, even if this move HAD been in the game:

    Why was he imitating the game?

    Why wasn’t he imitating the wrestler?

    Why wasn’the imitating Smackdown…the show?

    It HAS to be the game?

  28. UhhKris says:

    Well, not to sound like a prick, but at least he got a nice view of the city on the way down.

  29. Aurontsubaki says:

    The 2nd time I heard something related to wrestling being blamed for death of a human being, even though I retired from watching wrestling six years ago, this is too much. The parents once again use entertainment as a scapegoat to avoid being blamed for their parenting skills. What’s next they gonna sue Vincent K. McMahon Jr. for damages, riiiight. STOP BLAMING GAMES & ALL FORMS OF ENTERTAINMENT PERIOD!!!

    What we got here is failure to communicate!

  30. WarOtter says:

    People should not try to imitate Owen Hart.


    You see, I believe in the noble, aristocratic art of doing absolutely nothing. And one day, I hope to be in a position to do even less!

  31. londinio says:

    It’s easy to be an asshole when you don’t have to bury your own child. This  is why gamers have a bad image.


    Not one comment says poor kid I hope the family is okay.

  32. WarOtter says:

    Well…. stupid is as stupid does….

    I would say he does kinda qualify. Yeah I know, I’m an asshole for saying what I know a bunch of people were thinking.



    You see, I believe in the noble, aristocratic art of doing absolutely nothing. And one day, I hope to be in a position to do even less!

  33. Trevor McGee says:

    Well, it says Smackdown! vs. Raw, and none of the Smackdown! vs. Raw’s have had roof jumping. They removed backstage areas from the games when the series became Smackdown! vs. Raw, so the highest place you could jump from, for the most part was the turnbuckles until they put in that small scaffold area, but that only lasted two games and wasn’t close to "roof height".

  34. Godkarmachine says:

    I used a plastic bag as a parachute but only for jumping off my bed. Since that didn’t work I stopped at that.

    – Stand back! I have an opinion, and I’m not afraid to use it.

  35. Zevorick says:

    Furthermore, the alarm that was supposed to go off once the roof door was opened did not sound. it was not locked, and he was able to gain easy access to an area that had no guard rails or security features to prevent this kind of thing. Someone, even if it’s not the parents, is in trouble here.

  36. Kuros says:

    Things to note:


    1. The kid was in special education, he was possibly mentally disabled, to what degree we don’t know.

    2. What he imitated wasn’t specifically in the game, but who knows what he was thinking?

    3. He lived on the 10th floor and went up to the roof. Holy crap.

  37. Murdats says:

    "and I also knew that a peice of plastic doesn’t work as a parachute"

    Unfortunatley I wasn’t, I remember trying to fly using a pastic shopping bag but I remember that I knew parachutes worked because they caught the wind and while my bag was smaller it was a REALLY windy day so I figured it should even out.

    Of course I didn’t get far past the first step and quickly learnt it wasn’t quite windy enough for a sail that small.

  38. Valdearg says:

    How pathetic is it that they are blaming a wrestling game for a kid jumping off of a roof with a homemade parachute? There are no parachutes in the game, no roof jumping. Where is the connection?

    Not to sound cold, but come on.. Its not the game’s fault. I certainly knew when I was 9 that jumping off of a roof is a bad Idea, and I also knew that a peice of plastic doesn’t work as a parachute, no matter how cool that would have been. No matter how young kids like these are, you have to realize that they do think, they do have brains, and they make decisions for themselves. This kid was just stupid.

    I mean, I’ve had my share of bad ideas, but this is the equivalent of a 9 year old sticking a fork into an electrical outlet, or jumping out of a moving vehicle. We all knew at that age that those were bad ideas. Whether its the parents fault for not teaching the kid these life lessons, or the kid’s fault for being just plain dumb, who knows? All I know, is it wasn’t the games fault..


  39. KaylaKaze says:

    Why blame it on the game instead of the actual thing? I’d think a child, even a really STUPID one like this kid, would be much more likely to imitate the real Jeff Hardy rather than a video game character. The parents probably should have seen it coming though when the kid started eating mushrooms and jumping on turtles.

  40. nightwng2000 says:

    It doesn’t say how old the older sister is, though, for some strange reason, they kept prattling off the ages of other people in the article, from family friend to family friend’s kids.

    I can tell you that here in Wilmington, NC, Social Services indicated, when I had asked them some time back, that the legal age to leave a child alone here is based on rules set by the Fire Dept.  And that the minimum age is 8 years old.  BUT, the lady with Social Services also said that one must also take into account the mental capacity of the child.  The responsibility they show to being left alone.  I would assume that the child being left in charge must be the age to go by in this type of case.  Investigators need to be looking, in addition to the issue of the unlocked door, what it was the older sibling was doing. 

    Unfortunately, many Parents, good Parents, make hasty choices that seem reasonable and simple at the moment which turn into disasters one time out of the hundreds of other successfult times that they may have done in the past.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  41. E. Zachary Knight says:

    There is nothing wrong with leaving a child under the care of an older sibling. If the older sibling is mature enough to handle it, there should be no problem. Most kids get started babysitting at the age of 12 or 13.

    it does not say how old the sister was, but there is a good chance she was a young teen. She also seemed reasonably responsible as she was looking for her brother when she noticed he was missing.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
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    Random Tower
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  42. Ashkihyena says:

    …I know that, I mentioned Adamle cause he called Jeff Hardy, Jeff Harvey at the Royal Rumble.

  43. Ashkihyena says:

    ""He tried to do a swan dive like Jeff Harding does in ‘SmackDown.’ That was his favorite game. He played it all the time," Shakar said…"

    Was Mike Adamle writing this article?

  44. lumi says:

    Facepalms all around on this one…parents, kid, that "playmate" who said he was imitating something from the game that isn’t in the game at all

    I find that statement highly suspect to begin with (that another ~9-year-old said he was imitating the game).

    Condolences to the family.  I hope that whatever the real cause of this accident was, it’s uncovered and acknowledged.

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