Report: Eight-Year-Old Boy Murders Elderly Caregiver After Playing GTA

Update: Kotaku has a decent round-up of all the coverage this story is getting on various networks including CNN, Fox, etc. As you might imagine, the anti-game pundits are eating this stuff up like candy. You can check it all out here.

Original Story: Louisiana law enforcement officials say that an 8-year-old boy "intentionally" shot and killed his elderly caregiver Thursday evening after playing "Grand Theft Auto."

According to reports from WBRZ and CNN, the shooting, took place in a mobile home park near Slaughter, LA. The woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was found with a gunshot wound to the head. The 8-year-old allegedly shot the woman while she was in the living room watching television.

East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office have ruled the shooting a "homicide," though details on that are still forthcoming.

"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," a statement issued by the Sheriff's Office said.

Grand Theft Auto is rated "M" for mature audiences and is meant for 17-year olds and older.

The woman, who has been identified as Marie Smothers, has been described in multiple reports as the boy's "current caregiver," though her relationship to him remains unclear. The woman's age is also unclear, though several reports indicated she was between the ages of 87 and 90.

The boy, whose identity has not been made public because of his age, has reportedly been released into the custody of his parents. Some are reporting that under Louisiana law the boy will not be charged with murder because of his age.

Reports indicate that the gun belonged to the victim. The boy told authorities initially that the shooting was an accident, but law enforcement "believe" he shot Smothers intentionally.

Responding to the tragedy, Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive issued a brief statement on this story to CNN:

"Ascribing a connection to entertainment–a theory that has been disproven repeatedly by multiple independent studies–both minimizes this moment and sidesteps the real issues at hand," Take-Two said in a statement to CNN.

We will have more on this story as it develops.

Source: Huffington Post

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