A 92-year-old woman shot and killed her son in Fountain Hills on Monday after she refused to be sent to an assisted living facility, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Official court records show Blessing had been contemplating her son’s intentions to put her in an assisted living facility for several days prior to the shooting. Blessing told deputies her son wanted her to leave because she “had become difficult to live with.”
“From my understanding, she had thought about it for a few days because there was a dispute regarding her son wanting to put her in an assisted living home,” Maricopa County Sgt. Bryant Vanejas said.
According to investigations, deputies were previously called multiple times for domestic disputes at their home.
Police had visited the home on numerous domestic calls and knew there were guns in the home before Blessing shot her son, Thomas Blessing, 72-year-old, who lived in the home with his girlfriend and mother, officials said.
Incident reports say, Blessing hid two pistols in the pockets of her robe before confronting her sleeping son. She fired one of the pistols multiple times, striking and killing her son before pointing the gun at his girlfriend, who wrestled away the firearm and threw it into a corner of the room.
Blessing then retrieved her second handgun and attempted to point it at the girlfriend – who again, knocked the weapon out of her hand.
Deputies arrived following the incident and took Blessing into custody.
After the shooting, deputies searched the home and found 13 firearms, 11 of which belonged to the victim and two that belonged to Blessing. None of the weapons were secured, and they were all in spaces that were able to be accessed.
“We are empowered to act within the law and if there is not a violation of the law, we are limited,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said. “In respect to the Second Amendment, we cannot overreact and take firearms away from an individual because of a concern that falls short of a legal or lawful basis.”
The 92-year-old was charged first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping. Her bond was set at $500,000.
Blessing reportedly said, “You took my life, so I’m taking yours,” as deputies escorted her from the apartment.
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