13-Year-Old Shoots Both Parents In An Attempt To Save His Mom From Violent Attack

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couple arguing silhouette

Many children grow up in situations they are much too young to experience.

Unfortunately, witnessing domestic violence in the home can have detrimental effects on kids, including anxiety, aggressive behavior, early sexual activity, and substance abuse.

Even in my own experience, before my parents got divorced I remember hearing fighting and screaming. I felt a whirlwind of emotions during the chaos, but I didn’t know who to be mad at or who to protect.

But for one 13-year-old unidentified teen boy in St. Louis, Missouri, he chose his mother.

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During the night, the teen's mother and father got into a heated argument. In a turn of events, the father began choking his wife.

Their teenage son grabbed a gun and fired several shots, shooting his father twice in his legs and buttocks, and accidentally shooting his mother once in the torso.

As his parents lay bleeding waiting for an ambulance to arrive, what was going through his mind?

Not only was he no doubt terrified, but he was most likely thinking that he just killed his parents, asking what if questions: What if my parents die? What if I didn’t grab the gun?

The hardest part of being a child and hearing or seeing your parents fight is deciding whether or not to get involved. And in doing so, you have to pick a side.

Medical personnel arrived on the scene and rushed both parents to the hospital where they were in stable condition. However, the teen was arrested.

Legally, there is a right thing to do: Call the police and wait for law enforcement to arrive.

But in a chaotic situation like this, we’re not always thinking about the logical approach; instead, we enter "fight or flight" mode, not thinking about what we can do to end the chaos as quickly as possible.

Thankfully, the teenager wasn't charged and was later released from police custody. He remains with a family member.

But the harsh reality remains: the cycle of abuse will continue to affect this family.

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It's unfathomable what the battle within this teenager must have felt like when he was pulling the trigger. Do you shoot your dad to save your mom? Do you not do anything and risk your father killing your mother?

Witnessing your father abuse your mother can have a lasting impact.

My father never abused my mother in front of me, and I believe it’s because he didn’t want “daddy’s little girl” to see that side of him.

But not everyone can say the same.

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Children who see their father or mother’s abuse of their spouse believe that violence will fix their problems.

There's a possibility that this teenager reacted with violence because he believed it would fix the situation.

Arguments can and will arise in marriages. But it's how you handle disagreements that makes a difference.

In the end, though, violence is never the answer.

For victims and survivors of abuse who need support, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has trained volunteers available to help 24/7/365. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or, if you’re unable to speak safely, log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.

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La’Shawnté Burgess is a freelance writer who focuses on entertainment and news.