Mom: Teen with shotgun wanted to die

A rural Ionia County woman woke in the middle of the night to find a teen with a shotgun and machete outside her house. (Jan. 31, 2014)
A rural Ionia County woman woke in the middle of the night to find a teen with a shotgun and machete outside her house. (Jan. 31, 2014)

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — The mother of a teen who showed up at his neighbor’s house in the middle of the night with a shotgun and machete said he was trying to get police to kill him.

“Oh my God, I am shaking so bad. I went and got my 9 mm,” the woman told a 911 dispatcher, according to a 911 call recording.

The incident happened around 1 a.m. Friday in rural Ionia County. The woman, who asked not to be identified, told 24 Hour News 8 last week that she heard a noise downstairs and went to investigate. She found the person, who was wearing a ski mask, at her door. He had a shotgun and a machete.

“It’s a gun,” she told the dispatcher. “Oh my God! It’s a gun.”

The woman then went back to her bedroom and got her gun.

“I am so afraid,” she said in the 911 call. “Where are you guys?”

The woman’s husband is currently serving in Afghanistan.

“‘I am so nervous. I don’t know if I remember how to use my gun,” the woman said. “What if he starts shooting or something? I have two little girls.”

And she thought that the suspect may be young.

“I don’t know if it kind of looked like a kid. Guy. Kind of kid,” she said. “What is he doing out there?”

He turned out to be a 15-year-old boy — the woman’s neighbor.

The teen’s mother told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday he has autism and was distraught over a breakup. She said he snuck out of the house armed with the 20-gauge shotgun he got for Christmas. She said he didn’t mean to hurt anyone and that he intended to be shot and killed by police.

“As soon as he seen the phone, he was pointing at me, shaking his head no and going like this, telling me to get off the phone,” the woman said in the 911 call.

The teen’s mother said her son told police that he was trying to get the victim to call 911. She said he was heartbroken and wanted to die. She thinks that’s why he ran from authorit.

“At first he hid behind a car, then there was a short foot chase where he finally threw down his weapons and we were able to take him into custody,” Ionia County Sheriff Dale Miller said.

The suspect’s mom said she is sorry for what her son did to her neighbor, but she added she is grateful for the restraint shown by both the victim and the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office.

Miller told 24 Hour News 8 last week the woman likely would have been justified in shooting the teen.

“I believe so,” Miller said. “If he had gone to the point of trying to get into the house.”

The teen has been arraigned as an adult on three felony charges, but given the sensitivity of the case and his age, 24 Hour News 8 has chosen not to name him.

His mother said she hopes he can get the treatment he needs and that this incident does not shape his entire future.

If convicted as charged he, could face close to a decade in prison.