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Report describes disturbing, ‘destructive’ behavior by 9-year-old accused of killing his father

A new police report says a 9-year-old boy accused of shooting and killing his father in Tooele last month had displayed “destructive” and disturbing actions and tantrums. | Steve Griffin, Deseret News
TOOELE, Utah ( — A 9-year-old boy accused of shooting and killing his father could be “destructive” when he threw a tantrum, and his anger was typically directed at his father after he had been grounded or disciplined.
That’s what current and past housemates of the Tooele man and his son told police. On Tuesday, Tooele officials released a 45-page redacted report from the police department regarding its investigation into the shocking Feb. 16 shooting death of the 32-year-old father.
About 7:30 p.m. on that day, police were called to 380 W. Millcreek Way (480 South) on a report of a 32-year-old man found in his bedroom with a gunshot wound to his head. The father was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries the next day.
The man’s 9-year-old son “had come out of the room and told others in the house that he heard a bang and that his dad was bleeding from his head and possibly dead,” the police report states.
Doctors later informed detectives that the father’s wounds did not appear to be self-inflicted, as “some were to the back of the head and there were fresh and bleeding cuts to the side, fingers and arm which doctors said appeared to be defensive wounds,” according to the report.
Other court documents said the father suffered a single gunshot wound to the head as well as “tomahawk strikes.”
Police searching the room found a bullet hole in a curtain, a tomahawk-style hatchet and several guns along with various amounts of ammunition and firearm-related items inside the bedroom, according to a search warrant affidavit served in the case.
Two other adults who lived in the same house as the father and his son told police that the boy had been grounded several times since they moved in a couple of months earlier. One of the reasons the boy was grounded was “for bringing a knife to the park” just after Christmas, the report states.
“Other behaviors such as lying, attitude, arguing, wasting food and other typical child behaviors” were also mentioned.
The week before the shooting, the boy had been grounded for telling inappropriate jokes to the other children in the house, the report states. The penalty was cutting off internet access to the children. The next day, when the 9-year-old boy asked if he could have his tablet again, his father reminded him that he was still grounded, prompting the boy to become upset and go into his dad’s room.
“When he came out, (the father and another adult) noticed that (the boy) had marks on his face and asked, ‘Did you seriously just beat the hell out of yourself?’” Later, another child in the home told her father that the 9-year-old had said “he had hit himself and that he does it sometimes and tells the school the next day that his dad hits him,” according to the report.
A former housemate of the father says he had also heard about the boy “bringing a knife to school and lighting things on fire,” the report says. “He said there was a lot of yelling, grounding discipline and taking away privileges. He described (the boy) as destructive and sneaky.”
The former housemate also said the son had unregulated access to the internet and believed the son was supposed to be on medications but didn’t take them regularly.
“(He) said that when (the boy) got upset, he would get physical, usually with his dad when throwing tantrums,” according to the report.
Another former housemate claimed the boy had been abusive to one of their dogs, the report states, and also recalled him being “violent” with his father “usually during a tantrum” as well as fights over medications. That housemate also recalled the boy being grounded and having his video games taken away during one of the times he was disciplined.
That former housemate also had concerns about the father’s lack of gun safety, saying he “would often leave his gun laying around,” according to the police report.
A third former housemate described the son as “destructive.”
“She thought that he was mean to other kids, would hurt animals for no reason and she had heard that he would hit himself,” the report alleges. The woman also mentioned fires that the boy would start. When the boy was confronted about his behavior, the former housemate said “he would first have no expression, but then would cry and throw a tantrum” and that he “would never admit to anything and denied ever doing anything wrong.”
She too, reported the father struggled with keeping his son on medications and that he was often tough on the boy, the report states. As for gun safety, she said the father carried his gun in a shoulder holster, “and would simply hang the holster with a gun on a coat rack,” the report states.
Earlier reports indicated there were seven other people in the home at the time of the shooting, including five children under the age of 11.
Some of the other children in the home at the time told police they believed the father was sleeping on his bed, because they could hear snoring, before then hearing “someone fall,” according to the report. The son then walked out of the room and was asked by the others what happened, and the boy “just shook his head.”
Another child kept asking him what happened until he finally said that his dad was bleeding, according to the report.
Other children in the house also told police that the 9-year-old would give himself black eyes, prompting teachers and administrators at school to raise questions about the father.
Police initially said they arrested the boy but have not indicated where he currently is or if he faces any charges in the juvenile court system.
The post Report describes disturbing, ‘destructive’ behavior by 9-year-old accused of killing his father appeared first on East Idaho News.

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