Fountain Hills, AZ – A 92-year-old Arizona woman fatally shot her 72-year-old son after he tried to put her in a nursing home.
Anna Mae Blessing came prepared with two guns on Monday when she confronted her son and his girlfriend in the master bedroom of their home, after her son threatened to put her in an assisted-living facility, WHEC reported.
The incident began when Blessing told her son, Thomas Blessing, that she was tired of the way she was being treated, and that she didn’t want to be sent to a nursing home.
Blessing had moved in with her son and his 57-year-old girlfriend four months before, and the nonagenarian told police that she had been up for the last three or four nights thinking about her son having said he was going to put her in assisted living, WHEC reported.
So on July 2, she walked into the master bedroom, pulled out a gun, and shot Thomas. Then she tried to shoot his girlfriend, too.
The girlfriend was able to wrestle the gun away from Blessing. But the elderly woman had a back-up plan, and pulled yet another weapon from the pocket of her bathrobe, police said.
They struggled again, and Thomas’s girlfriend disarmed his mother of the second gun.
Police said that after she shot her son, Blessing checked his pulse to make sure he was dead.
Then she returned to her own room where she told police she had planned to kill herself; however, her son’s girlfriend had taken both guns away from her.
When officers arrived at the home, Thomas was dead on the floor of the master bedroom with a gunshot wound to the neck and jaw, Time reported.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said that Blessing was sitting in a recliner in her bedroom waiting for them.
“You took my life, so I’m taking yours,” she muttered as police arrested her, according to Time.
Blessing told police she had purchased both handguns in the 1970s, and hadn’t fired them since that time.
She told officers they should have her “put to sleep” when they took her into custody.
“It is always concerning when domestic issues escalate to violence or tragic outcomes,” Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a statement, according to Time. “They are often isolated and neither predictable nor preventable.”
Blessing has been charged with one count each of first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and kidnapping.
She was held on a $500,000 cash-only bond, according to WHEC.
Filicide, the deliberate act of killings one’s own child, is not that uncommon. And many more attempts at filicide are made than actual successful murders.
A 66-year-old woman in Florida recently shot at her 46-year-old son as he rode by on his bicycle after an argument caused him to stomp out of their Panama City Beach home, the New York Post reported.
Priscilla Etheridge told police she believed her son had taken her cell phone with him, so she grabbed her .22-caliber revolver and followed him, the police report said.
Her son told police that his mother yelled that she was going to shoot him before she pulled the trigger and fired off a round, according to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.
Etheridge claimed she only squeezed off a warning shot to scare him. Her shot barely missed her son, the New York Post reported.
Investigators seized the mother’s gun and said it had one spent shell casing, the New York Post reported.
“I’ll be damned if I let him have the last word,” her nephew told police Etheridge said as she left the home to track down her son.