MILWAUKEE – A Milwaukee family is speaking out after a 10-year-old boy killed his mother because she wouldn’t give him a virtual reality headset.
The family told ABC affiliate WISN-TV he was being treated for behavioral issues at the time.
“We’ve been pretty much shaken, shaken to our core,” said Rhona Reid, the victim’s sister.
Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.
The headline went viral: a 10-year-old boy accused of killing his mother over a virtual reality headset. Now, his family wants to set the record straight.
“I think the biggest misconception is that it was over a VR Oculus headset,” Reid said after her family was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight.
“Some days are better than others,” added Lueritha Mann, the victim’s mother.
Last month, prosecutors charged the 4th grader as an adult with intentional homicide for the deadly shooting of his mother, Quiana Mann. ABC 7 Chicago is not naming the boy per a court order.
“He calls daily and we have talks. He’s not expressed any remorse to me,” his aunt said.
“Everybody loved her,” the boy’s grandmother said. “I knew he was capable of something, but not this harsh.”
At the time of the tragedy, they say he was in treatment for behavioral issues.
“It was recommended by his treatment providers that cell phones, electronic devices be limited because of the violent games that he was he was playing,” Reid said. “So she was literally following his treatment plan when she decided to take his electronic devices. And that is what upset him.”
Now the boy remains locked up in the juvenile detention center – and it’s exactly where his aunt and grandmother say he belongs.
“We just don’t know, like, what his mental state is and what he’s capable of,” his aunt said.
“We have to sleep at night and he’s a roamer. He likes to roam at night, so I don’t know, I’d be a little scared,” his grandmother said.
The boy made a virtual court appearance Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors said he pulled the trigger in the basement of the family’s home last month near 87th and Magnolia.
The disturbing details were laid out in a criminal complaint as prosecutors charged the boy as an adult with reckless homicide.
They say the boy told police he was angry after his mother woke him up early the morning of November 21st and wouldn’t buy him a virtual reality headset from Amazon.
The judge kept his face hidden during the appearance.
“The child or juvenile is present, but because the court has had previously ordered that his image or photo not be used in any manner, that is why I’m permitting that his will be off for today,” Judge Kristela Cervera said.
During the brief virtual hearing, the boy’s father appeared on the Zoom call but made no comment. Prosecutors said they will have an amended complaint but didn’t reveal details.
The judge previously set the boy’s bail at $50,000. His public defender said they would like to lower that amount.
According to the criminal complaint, the boy was trying to scare his mom, but accidentally shot her in the face.
While he’s only 10 years old, Wisconsin state law requires he be charged as an adult.