8-year-old who shot grandmother can remain with family, court says

SLAUGHTER, La. (AP) — A Louisiana judge said Monday that an 8-year-old boy who shot and killed a 90-year-old woman who was his caregiver after watching a video game with violent themes can continue to live with his family.

The boy cannot be charged with the crime under Louisiana state law.

“It was determined that he did the shooting and it was an accident. He thought it was a toy gun, a play gun,” East Feliciana Parish District Attorney Samuel D”;Aquilla told CNN.

“It”;s not a crime if he”;s under 10 years old. We”;re still trying to figure out how to help this juvenile and his parents,” D”;Aquilla added.

East Feliciana Parish sheriff”;s deputies did not provide a motive. But they said the juvenile was playing the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” – a realistic game that”;s been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people – just minutes before the fatal shooting.

Authorities are calling the shooting a homicide.

They said it happened shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday at the Country Breeze Mobile Home Park off La. Highway 67 east of Slaughter.

Sgt. Kevin Garig told The Advocate that the identities of both the shooter and the victim are being withheld to protect the identity of the juvenile. Garig said the woman died after suffering at least one gunshot wound to the head. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

WAFB-TV reports the sheriff”;s office said that although the child told investigators that he accidentally shot the woman while playing with a firearm, evidence has led investigators to believe the child intentionally shot her in the back of the head while she was watching television.

Authorities said the woman was the child”;s caregiver. Garig said the shooting involved relatives.

The child was released to his parents Thursday night and will be allowed to remain with them.

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