A 10-year-old boy in Wisconsin will be charged as an adult after allegedly killing his mother when she wouldn’t allow him to buy a pricey virtual reality headset from Amazon.
On Nov. 21, Quiana Mann, 44, was shot in the eye at close range at her Milwaukee home, allegedly by her son, who has not been publicly named due to his age, according to the complaint. The complaint alleges that after the shooting, the boy first tried hiding the gun, and then told his older sister their mother was dead, and the sister called 911.
The child allegedly used Mann’s keys to remove the gun from her locked gun safe at about 7 a.m. on Nov. 21. He allegedly told detectives he’d taken the gun out because he was angry Mann had woken him up 30 minutes early, and because he was upset she would not let him buy the headset from Amazon.
One day after the killing, he logged into his deceased mother’s Amazon account to buy the Oculus Virtual Reality Headset anyway, the complaint alleges.
After the shooting, the child initially told police he’d shot his mom accidentally, per the complaint. He was allowed to stay home with his family at that point. However, the next day, relatives called police with concerns about whether the 10-year-old was telling the truth. According to the complaint, he allegedly later told his aunt he had “actually [been] aiming the gun at his mother.”
Family members told detectives the child experienced “rage issues” his whole life, the complaint says. At four years old, the boy allegedly held his puppy by the tail and whirled him around until the dog “whined and howled in pain.” He also allegedly started a fire in the home by filling a balloon with flammable liquid and setting it aflame, per the complaint.
A family member also told investigators the little boy “has five different imaginary people that talk to him.” These imaginary people are described as two sisters, an old lady, and two men, the complaint states.
The boy recently received a “concerning diagnosis” from a therapist, leading Mann to place cameras around the home, the complaint says, according to documents from a therapist. Unfortunately, someone unplugged the cameras before the shooting.
“He’s always said that he hears voices,” the child’s grandmother, Lueritha Mann, told The Daily Beast. “We tried helping her with him,” Lueritha also told the Beast. “All of us, everybody that knows her, even her church people. We all tried helping her with him because we knew he had a mental illness.”
Mann, who worked in behavioral health, had four children. A GoFundMe her family set up to help with funeral expenses says Mann had a “spirit of giving” and “a love for God that shined so brightly it superseded any pain she may have experienced.”
The 10-year-old is being charged with first-degree reckless homicide and is being held on $50,000 bail. If convicted of the charges, he could face up to 60 years in prison.
Milwaukee police tell PEOPLE in a statement that the department is still “investigating the fatal shooting … that occurred on Monday, November 21, 2022, at approximately 6:50 a.m.”
“MPD would like to remind the public to keep firearms secured with a gun lock and out of the reach of children,” the police spokesperson says.
Trying a 10-year-old as an adult, even in this case, seems a bit extreme. If what his family says is true — he needs psychiatric help, not prison.