Wild Musing

Writing – Diary of a Budding Freelance

Boy Shoots Parents Because They Won’t Let Him Play Halo 3- Daniel Petric

Wow this is an extreme story. I am currently writing an article on it for a magazine and another for a website so I thought I would share my thoughts with you on here. It will help me to organise them.

Firstly, the story itself for those of you that are unfamiliar. Daniel Petric was raised in a religious family in Ohio. His father was a religious minister and by all accounts pretty careful ( some may even say a bit over cautious) about the kinds of entertainment his children were exposed to.

Daniel was involved in accident the year he turned 16 and was confined to the house for months on end, during this period he apparently played a lot of games and watched a lot of TV, as you would, no surprise there.

The trouble started when Daniel’s father, Mark, decided that the Halo series of games that Daniel was particularly fond of was too sexually graphic and took it and hid it in his lockbox with his own handgun. Daniel apparently knew where the key was and retrieved the game and the gun. He took the gun into the room his parents were sitting in and told them, chillingly, to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them, then he shot them both. His mother was killed and his father suffered a severe head injury. There is something even more heartbreaking about the way Mark Petric testified that he closed his eyes expecting a nice surprise from his son only to feel his head go numb from the bullet Daniel had shot at his head.

Daniel was recently convicted of this crime after the court rejected his plea of insanity. He is to be sentenced at a later date.

The blame game is, of course raging full steam ahead on this one. A lot blame the video game industry and there are none of us dropping
dead of shock over that. The judge really did not help with his comments.

“In the game you shoot aliens, and they are there again the next day. You have to shoot them again, and I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea that if he killed his parents they would be dead forever”

I am not pointing my finger at the judge, a case like this has got to put you under immense strain, but neither can I accept his comments.
It would suggest that a sixteen year old boy who two experts had already ascertained was not suffering from a mental defect or disease did not understand the concept of death. That just beggars belief, I don’t care how many hours of Halo he had played. What, had he never had a pet cat, dog, bird die? Not had an auntie, uncle or grandparent pass away. Nope, sorry not having that. Anyway, it occurs to me that if Daniel Petric thought his parents were just going to spring to life again then he had no motive for what he did, it was not going to get him any closer to being able to play Halo 3.

The gamers focus more on the humans involved and seem to predominately make two sorts of comments. Some make comment on Mark’s parenting skills, I think we have to tread very carefully here to avoid tipping over into blaming the victim but some people put forward ideas of a repressive regime in the home. Halo 3 is after all an M rated game and Daniel was 16. Not that anyone is suggesting that this one piece of discipline was a reason for murder.

Others, of course, blame Daniel himself and it would be easy to say that this is clearly where the real blame lies but I can’t help thinking that even though Daniel may not have been insane by criminal standards any boy who shoots his parents must have been in dire need of some sort of help.

Anyway, the most heartbreaking detail in a heartbreaking case is the fact the fact that Mark Petric looked at his son in court with forgiveness and told him “you are my son, my boy”. I am not sure how to comment on that except to say, for some reason, it nearly made me cry.


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January 21, 2009 - Posted by | Gaming, Sex in games, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. There is a school of thought that says those with traumatic head injuries suffer bouts of mania and major personality swings. It may not be classified as insanity per se, but it can certainly alter one’s grip from time to time. He suffered an accident that kept him confined to the house… was his head injured?

    That said, lock him up. More than ever this kid needs to know what real life is like, and prison is a crash course of the highest order.

    Wendy

    Comment by Wendy Sullivan | January 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. Oh there is no doubt he will be locked up, and none in my mind that he should be. I am just doing that thing I do where I wonder, pointlessly, what on earth made him think this was a good idea.

    Don’t think it was ahead injury, leg leading to staph infection, I believe.

    Comment by michellejbuss | January 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hey, at least it was a first-person shooter. ZING!

    Comment by livelyexchange | January 21, 2009 | Reply

  4. Now Michael, that was unworthy! 🙂

    Comment by michellejbuss | January 21, 2009 | Reply

  5. I also have this on my blog (www.360daily.wordpress.com)
    Its silly, and I don’t think anyone in the right mind should be doing this. He has his excuses, but there not good enough to kill his own parents.

    Comment by Downin' | January 22, 2009 | Reply


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