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A 9-year-old boy was arrested on February 16 after the police found a 32-year-old man lying unconscious with blood streaking from his head. New details emerging from the Tooele City Police Department said the 9-year-old was the victim’s son and was addicted to playing violent video games.

Violent Video Game Fingered In The Brutal Killing Of A 32-Year-Old Man By His 9-Year-Old Son

The night of the incident, the Tooele City Police Department was dispatched to a home in the area of 380 West Millcreek Way for a possible suicide attempt. Upon arrival, they found the victim unconscious in the pool of his blood.

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The victim was transported to the hospital where he later died. The identity of the boy was not disclosed because of his age and the police scratched their heads on what led to the shooting and what charges the 9-year-old faces.

“[The case is] definitely an outlier and something that we haven’t really had to deal with much before,” said Corporal Colbey Bentley. “I know it may be a little bit frustrating to the public right now.”

“Any time there’s a situation where somebody is arrested, there’s some sort of element that we’ve seen that leads to a certain charge or a certain crime being looked at more.”

Bentley said the police will investigate all possibilities including whether it was an accidental shooting or a criminal case. Also, he added that although the gun was accessible to the 9-year-old, it was unclear if it was properly secured.

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The incident threw the residents of the neighborhood in shock, especially after hearing about the age of the child who was arrested. Some suggested that the incident showed the importance of gun safety education among children.

According to the CDC, children and adolescents between 0 and 17 years are more likely to die from unintentional firearm injuries in the United States. The agency said about half of those deaths occur at home. The agency also said that in most of the cases of unintentional injury deaths, the guns are stored loaded, and unlocked.

Police fingered violent video game addiction in an updated report

Violent Video Game Fingered In The Brutal Killing Of A 32-Year-Old Man By His 9-Year-Old Son

A search warrant obtained by FOX 13 News has highlighted more details surrounding the fatal shooting of a Tooele man. In the warrant, the police mentioned that a tablet and smartphone would “shed light on how and/or why these specific methods and weapons were used in the homicide”.

According to the police, the victim and his 9-year-old son went to bed early “due to behavioral problems”. The warrant went further to detail how the boy later emerged from the room claiming his father was bleeding from the head.

Upon further investigation, the police found that the victim was shot in the back of the head and suffered cuts to his head, face, arms, and hands in what the police termed “defensive wounds”. The officers also found a handgun under the bed with a missing bullet and a bloodied “tomahawk style hatchet”.

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According to the warrant, eight other people were present at the time of the man’s death including two adult roommates and their four young children. The others in the house said the 9-year-old spent a long time on the smartphone and tablet “watching videos and playing violent video games”.

Some of the games he played were not appropriate to his age. He often shared age-inappropriate videos with other children in the home for which he was often disciplined. One particular game that was mentioned in the report was Modern Warfare: Warzone which the warrant said, “incorporate the same weapons in gameplay that were found and used in the assault, a 9mm Glock type handgun and a tomahawk”.

The link between violent video games and violent behavior

Violent Video Game Fingered In The Brutal Killing Of A 32-Year-Old Man By His 9-Year-Old Son

There are mixed results when it comes to the relationship between violent video games and violent behavior. For example, the American Psychological Association (APA) said there was no scientific evidence that linked violent video games with violent behavior.

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However, a 2019 publication by Rong Shao and Yunqiang Wang concluded that “exposure to violent video games is positively related to adolescent aggression”. Republican Kevin McCarthy once fingered violent video games as a driver of gun violence.

The Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB) evaluates and rates video games based on their age appropriateness. However, children are often found playing games that are well above their age. This has often led to the debate on whether parents are doing enough in the mentoring and monitoring of their children.


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