Christian academy student shoots parents in head after grounding from video games
A 14-year-old student at a Christian academy in Washington state has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting both of his parents in the head after they restricted him from playing violent video games.
Grant County prosecutors on Monday said that they were asking that 14-year-old Nathan Brooks be tried as an adult for the attempted murder of his parents.
According to a Moses Lake police report obtained by iFIBER One News, Nathon Brooks had considered killing his parents, 38-year-old Jonathan Brooks and 39-year-old Elizabeth Brooks, since the age of 8. He had recently been been grounded for two weeks from using “electronic devices” — including playing video games — and had been punished with detention for being late to class.
Nathon Brooks had admitted to police that he had been obsessed with video games.
“He said he quit playing violent video games because he thought they were making him more violent,” Moses Lake police Sgt. Mike Williams noted in the document. “I asked him how much he played video games, and he told me ‘24/7,’ up until he got his electronics taken away.”
Nathon Brooks indicated that he had decided to shoot his parents after his mother told his he was “meeting the definition of insanity” by disobeying over and over again. He said that his parents had been angry after he recently took one of their credit cards.
On Friday, Police believe the boy pried open a gun safe to retrieve a .22 caliber pistol. After listening to music for about 90 minutes, he decided to kill his parents.
“He said he was rethinking it, but said ultimately the voice telling him to do it was louder than the one telling him not to,” Williams wrote. “He said he just heard over and over in his head that he would be able to do whatever he wanted if he killed his parents.”
While his radio was recharging, Nathan Brooks quietly entered his parents room just before 10 p.m. and aimed the gun at the back of his father’s head.
“He shot his dad first, [and] then he shot his mom, [and] then shot again at his dad when [his father] rolled out of bed,” Williams explained in the report. “Nathon said that when he was firing at his mom and she tried to get up, so he fired at her twice more and she stopped moving.”
Jonathan Brooks reportedly was able to call 9-1-1 to report that an intruder had shot him and his wife. When police arrived, Nathon Brooks told officers that the shooter had left.
But a video surveillance camera that the father had set up to monitor his son clearly showed Nathon Brooks walking through the living room while carrying a handgun, police said.
Moses Lake police had investigated Nathon Brooks in 2010 over allegations that he molested a younger girl, but the boy had no previous criminal charges.
Officials at Moses Lake Christian Academy, where Nathon Brooks went to school, said they were shocked by the shooting.
“It’s been a difficult day for our family …[that] really is what we are here, we’re a very tight-knit community and so it’s shocking to all of us,” Moses Lake Christian Academy interim director told KXLK. “I don’t know how anyone comes to grips with this. It’s a tragedy for the family and for the community, not just Moses Lake Christian Academy but for Moses Lake as a community.”
The academy released a statement on Tuesday saying that Jonothan Brooks had been released from the hospital and was staying with his wife as medical staff tried to stabilize her before surgery.
A family friend told KXLY that both parents were “doing well,” and that Elizabeth Brooks was able to communicate through sign languange.
Nathon Brooks was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
This week, the video game industry said it would launch a campaign to help educate parents about the video game rating system created by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and on how controls in video games consoles could be used to limit access to violent content.
Following the mass shooting of 20 elementary school children in Connecticut last year, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced a bill to have the National Academy of Sciences study the link between violent video games and violent acts by children.
Watch this video from KING, broadcast March 12, 2013.
Watch this video from iFiber One News, broadcast March 11, 2013.