Grand Theft Auto IV Blamed In Murder Case

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Grand Theft Auto IV Blamed In Murder Case

grand theft auto iv lost and the damned

Police in Louisiana believe an eight-year-old boy who murdered his elderly caregiver was likely driven to do it by Grand Theft Auto IV.

87-year-old Marie Smothers was killed by a single gunshot to the back of the head fired by an eight-year-old boy in her care. There's no apparent motive for the killing and according to the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Department, "the victim and the juvenile had a normal, loving relationship, and even shared the same bedroom." So what drove the boy to commit murder?

At first he told police that he accidentally shot Smothers while he was playing with the gun (that she owned) but the investigation concluded that he actually shot her in the back of the head intentionally while she was watching television. His specific motives remain a mystery, but the police implied very strongly that a videogame - you know the one - was a causative factor.

"Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a videogame 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," the sheriff's department said in a statement.

Fox13Now.com helpfully pointed out that debate over the connection between virtual and real-life violence has heated up since the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass murder last year, saying that "like many young males who went on shooting rampages in the past, the shooter, Adam Lanza, was reportedly obsessed with violent videogames." It also noted that "studies by reputable academic and medical sources have come to a variety of conclusions over the years," and that the Obama administration has called for further research.

Source: Fox13Now

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Andy Chalk:

Police in Louisiana believe an eight-year-old boy who murdered his elderly caregiver was likely driven to do it by Grand Theft Auto IV.

eight-year-old boy

eight-year-old

Let us dwell on this for a moment shall we?

Oh, you're done? why the fuck did an eight-year-old have GTA4?

Or even worse, have easy access to guns and live ammunition?

Vaccine:

Andy Chalk:

Police in Louisiana believe an eight-year-old boy who murdered his elderly caregiver was likely driven to do it by Grand Theft Auto IV.

eight-year-old boy

eight-year-old

Let us dwell on this for a moment shall we?

Oh, you're done? why the fuck did an eight-year-old have GTA4?

A better question is 'why was an 8 year old playing around with a loaded gun?'

Worgen:
A better question is 'why was an 8 year old playing around with a loaded gun?'

You caught me, I edited it right after I posted. :(

I let my 8 year old play unsupervised with a loaded handgun. Video games are to blame for this tragedy!

Also: age appropriateness, gun culture, improper education on safe handling, etc. etc.

If the game was a simple trigger for this kid to commit murder. Its likely he would have done it video game or not.

So the first main point is this... WHY the HELL was an EIGHT YEAR OLD playing GRAND THEFT AUTO which VERY CLEARLY has a rating of EIGHTEEN+??!! There's a reason why games like this have ratings, because they aren't meant to be played by people younger than that. Now 15-16 year olds playing it? I can vaguely understand, but 8?!

Of course this is a tragic and horrible event and I can't imagine what the family and friends are going through right now, but GTA is not to blame. The blame lies with:
a) Whoever let him play a game he was 10 years too young for
b) Whoever left the gun within his reach
If you play a violent game then make the conscious decision to copy what you see, there's something clearly wrong with you to begin with.

Stories like this sadden me deeply.

Vaccine:

Worgen:
A better question is 'why was an 8 year old playing around with a loaded gun?'

You caught me, I edited it right after I posted. :(

Faster than the speed of editing, more powerful than nerd rage over Star Wars. ITS WORGEN!!!

The first questions that come to my mind, why was the gun left out where the kid could get at it? And why was an 8 year old allowed to play Grand Theft Auto IV in the first place?

Plenty posts said it before I could.

Why... WHY is an 8yo playing with a friggin loaded pistol while the "caregiver" was watching TV; attentive guardian right there, as she apparently wasn't observant enough to notice the gun pointed at the back of her head. Maybe that's an unfair statement, but maybe GTA4 shouldn't be your babysitter

"Awards points for killing people."

Funny how this always comes up in GTA-scapegoat cases, and GTA is perhaps the one mainstream game series that doesn't actually do this.

Its easier to blame a video game because the parents don't want to take responsibility for clearly what is bad parenting

If the boy was watching Friendship is Magic, right before he shot the old woman would they still try to blame the medium? Or would they actually blame the fact that he was handling a loaded weapon unsupervised?

apart from the obvious questions that have been posed 10 times in this thread alone... how come they're latching onto video games again? isn't '8 year old kid has access to loaded gun' (i'm going to assume nobody told the kid how to load it himself) a better story than '8 year old kid plays games he should't'?

ShadowGandalf01:
So the first main point is this... WHY the HELL was an EIGHT YEAR OLD playing GRAND THEFT AUTO which VERY CLEARLY has a rating of EIGHTEEN+??!! There's a reason why games like this have ratings, because they aren't meant to be played by people younger than that. Now 15-16 year olds playing it? I can vaguely understand, but 8?!

Of course this is a tragic and horrible event and I can't imagine what the family and friends are going through right now, but GTA is not to blame. The blame lies with:
a) Whoever let him play a game he was 10 years too young for
b) Whoever left the gun within his reach
If you play a violent game then make the conscious decision to copy what you see, there's something clearly wrong with you to begin with.

Stories like this sadden me deeply.

Don't you just love shitty parenting and then those shitty parents/media blaming it not on the real reason, but a scapegoat?

I just love the Media.

"the victim and the juvenile had a normal, loving relationship, and even shared the same bedroom."

Is this kind of thing normal over there? It seems a bit suspicious. Could it be that he was being molested?

he was playing with the gun (that she owned)

Again, is this kind of thing normal over there? When I was in that age I had toy guns (mostly the kind that don't shoot any projectiles) and I used to pretend shoot people a lot. I would've probably thought it was a toy if I would've found it laying around and had done the same thing as a kid. The most violent game I had played at that time was Doom.

the juvenile suspect was playing a videogame 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

And this is the motive that seemed most likely? What about all the other under-aged gamers who play it and don't murder elderly caregivers? They should really fire those investigators.

Johnson McGee:
I let my 8 year old play unsupervised with a loaded handgun. Video games are to blame for this tragedy!

Do we know that they let him play with a loaded gun? I mean they could've kept the gun locked up and the 8 year old knew where the key was. They are treating this as intentional murder (is that redundant?), so I don't think we should rule that out.

a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people

As realistic as if you fall out of a car, you go flying a kilometer down the road as if you had a parachute.
Encourages violence by making the cops shoot to kill for punching someone lightly.
Points for killing? For God's sake, play the damn game before parroting the people who demonise it.

I've completed the story about four times and never seen a single bit of positive re-enforcement for killing innocents except for a measly sum of cash ($1-$100) that they only sometimes drop and in order to complete the story. More importantly, the story tries to show that the main character is haunted by the murder he did.[1]
I think the more important issue should be how the eight-year old got access to a loaded weapon and, maybe, why he was allowed to play a (very high profile) game that's restricted to those 18 and older for purchase.

[1] "Tries" because the gameplay doesn't really allow giving evidence that Niko's truly haunted by killing.

Doom972:

"the victim and the juvenile had a normal, loving relationship, and even shared the same bedroom."

Is this kind of thing normal over there? It seems a bit suspicious. Could it be that he was being molested?

It's a possibility, but there'd need to be more evidence than just 'they shared a bedroom'. Edit: that should say 'they shared a bed'.

Sharing a bed with a kid that you're the guardian of is normal up to a certain age. When does it become too old ... I don't know. Besides it's possible to share a bed without fucking.

why is the being classified as a murder? the child is 8 and doesn't understand the concepts of death, this is most likely an accident, that with more parental oversight could have been prevented.

Why was an 87 year old woman looking after an 8 year old boy? why was he allowed to play a game like GTA IV? and why was there a loaded handgun left unsecured and unsupervised?

those are the real questions that should be asked, and CPS should be involved because someone in that house was clearly negligent.

Father Time:

Doom972:

"the victim and the juvenile had a normal, loving relationship, and even shared the same bedroom."

Is this kind of thing normal over there? It seems a bit suspicious. Could it be that he was being molested?

It's a possibility, but there'd need to be more evidence than just 'they shared a bedroom'. Edit: that should say 'they shared a bed'.

Sharing a bed with a kid that you're the guardian of is normal up to a certain age. When does it become too old ... I don't know. Besides it's possible to share a bed without fucking.

I know that. I would've said nothing about it if it was a parent/sibling, but I wouldn't consider a caregiver family. Again, I asked because I really don't know if that kind of thing is the norm over there. If it is, then don't mind me.

"awards points to players for killing people"

No it does not. There are no points in that game last I checked.

OMFG!
Why does he have access to a LOADED handgun?!
How did he GET access to a LOADED handgun?! Was it just lying around in plain sight?!
Why was an 8 year old playing GTA 4?
Why are police blaming a video game and not the caregiver or the parents who obviously did a piss-poor job of teaching the kid right from wrong and what is real and what is not real?
Why is FOX News...actually, I shouldn't ask that particular question. It's a given really.

If what FOX News says about violent games is true, then I should've commited mass murder myself a dozen times over by now. I've been playing violent games, First Person Shooters at least, since 007 Goldeneye came out when I was 7 years old.

Doom972:

Father Time:

Doom972:

Is this kind of thing normal over there? It seems a bit suspicious. Could it be that he was being molested?

It's a possibility, but there'd need to be more evidence than just 'they shared a bedroom'. Edit: that should say 'they shared a bed'.

Sharing a bed with a kid that you're the guardian of is normal up to a certain age. When does it become too old ... I don't know. Besides it's possible to share a bed without fucking.

I know that. I would've said nothing about it if it was a parent/sibling, but I wouldn't consider a caregiver family. Again, I asked because I really don't know if that kind of thing is the norm over there. If it is, then don't mind me.

The article intentionally leaves out whether the caregiver was family or not. Either way it sounds like she was his legal guardian.

ssgt splatter:

Why are police blaming a video game and not the caregiver or the parents who obviously did a piss-poor job of teaching the kid right from wrong and what is real and what is not real?

Maybe the kid has severe mental problems. We shouldn't lay blame right now when we don't have much of the facts (aside from blaming the kid, but he's not going to face charges for this).

You know what I kind of have to agree a bit to the fact if you lock an 8 year old in a house with a loaded gun and grand theft auto and no parent or anyone teaching the child about either, they'll probably shoot something more then 50% of the time.

What should be obvious tho is this happened first for keeping a loaded gun in the house in a way an 8 year old can get to it, and second bad parenting for not teaching the reality of any of the circumstances he acted out and for being in the circumstance in the first place. Then you can give and very very mile away distance third that grand theft auto was in the mix as " something with guns in it thats cool"

I'm sure if there were no video games, no television, and no other forms of entertainment in the house, someone would spin the story to paint the dust mites or perhaps the brand of hardwood floor finish as a bad influence on the child.

As others have said, the boy had no right to be playing that game in the first place. And rather than chalk this one up to the lack of proper (for that child in particular; I realize not all cases are the same) adult supervision or even giving the whole situation an in-depth look, they're filling the informational void with "video games kill people"-brand packing peanuts.

"We have a child who does not know the impact of the consequences of the act he committed," Sclynski Legier, a lawyer, told CNN affiliate WAFB. "He truly doesn't understand that."

Hmm, I wonder why he doesn't have a solid understanding of what's right and wrong...

Seems like a pretty standard "let's talk about video games not gun control" thing.

First why is any parent letting their 8 year old son play GTA?
Second why is any parent letting their 8 year old son hold on to a loaded weapon unsupervised?

Yeah let's just blame the game Fox, bang up work you're doing there.

Louisiana, huh? I reckon that kid gets the lethal injection before the year is out.

I think the fact he had access to guns is what influenced this kid, that and the fact that he was a little psychopathic bastard.

Why the fuck does a kid have GTA4? Why does he have a goddamned loaded gun?

Oh it happened in Louisiana? You're lucky that's all that went wrong there.

Ahhh the eternal hunt for a scapegoat continues.

And the sad part is, this will keep on happening as people start locking away video-games instead of loaded handguns.

I mean seriously? This needs blame shifted away? It's not blindingly and glaringly obvious to everyone that under no circumstances should an 8-year old have access to a loaded handgun? Let alone unsupervised?

Seriously, I don't understand the line of reasoning... Is it simply sheer stupidity and incompetence by those involved? Willful ignorance? Malice? Something else?

I mean I can understand the reasoning behind letting adults have access to guns, I may disagree with it but I understand it. But this? Why are there only two lines in the original article on how the hell that kid got a loaded handgun and an entire paragraph dedicated to video-games? How do priorities get that utterly fucked up?

Who the the hell lets an eight year play with a real gun, and a loaded one at that? A GOD DAMN EIGHT YEAR OLD! What the hell did people think would happen? I mean maybe you could argue that the parents and day-carer maybe should not allow a eight year old to play GTA but you cannot in anyway excuse allowing a young child to have easy access to a loaded weapon. It's the same principle of why people keep medicine and power tools locked away from children as they can unwittingly cause harm to themselves and others because they often don't fully appreciate the dangers that come from these things. The only thing to blame here is the negligence and lack of due care by the gun owner, who sadly paid the price for it.

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