Girl Shot In The Head By Her Brother During Argument Over Video Game Controller

Photo: Eric Thayer (Getty)

A 13 year-old girl from Monroe County, Mississippi has been shot in the head by her 9 year-old brother during an argument over an unspecified video game controller.

The Associated Press reports that the incident took place on Saturday, when the girl "wouldn't give up the video game controller when her brother wanted it."

It's not known what type of gun was used, or how the boy gained access to it, but he fired once and the bullet entered the girl's brain. She survived the attack, and was rushed to Le Bonheur's Children's Hospital in Memphis.

WTVA reports that the girl later died at the hospital from her injuries.

Further details surrounding the shooting are being investigated by local police.


    Quick blame video games !!!! lets forget the fact that a minor had access to a fire arm. Good old America. Safest country on the planet and only video games kill people.


        I don't blame you. When Myst was a thing when I was growing up that game was retarded hard for me.

        All these FIFA gamers are going to have such an unfair advantage in real-life soccer!

        Last edited 21/03/18 3:07 pm

      The only way that video games are possibly to blame is in that this little boy was obviously so addicted to playing that he acted irrationally and shot his sister. Drug addicts might do something similar if you withheld their fix.

      Despite this, the counter-argument would be that other things apart from video games could possibly have triggered a similar reaction, and that the availability of the gun led to a fatal injury when, if it hadn't been available, an injury might have been avoided, or a lesser injury might have occurred.

      A counter-counter-argument would be that, had the owner of the gun locked it away safely, this incident could have been avoided: guns don't kill people, people being irresponsible with guns does.

        The problem is: people will be irresponsible. You can't just shake that off. Many will be responsible but not an insignificant number will be irresponsible. Then you have those with anger issues. Those under huge amounts of stress and ready to snap. Those victims of chance or circumstance driven to desperation. Those with actual mental illnesses.

        Humans are fallible and prone to acting irrationally even if only for very short moments.. Diminishing the amount of damage that they can cause when they are at their worst iswhat a /responsible/ society does.

    That is some fucked up shit, like no there are no words that could encapsulate how messed up America is than a nine year old shooting a 13 year old family member.

    I was sitting here for a while trying to process and put my thoughts into words without it sounding vile, but nothing comes to mind that would ever not sound fake.

      Maybe... I feel bad for the girl that even in her own home and family she was not kept safe. The loss for her loved ones will never ever be filled and the heartbreak can never be repaired.

      And yes gun laws, government the NRA and lobbyists should all just go to hell.

        I believe that most of the population should understand guns (either through use or classes) so that the youth understand they aren't toys, but owning guns should still be super rare in Australia.

      Same thing happens in Australia. I remember some kids in a neighbouring town to mine were mucking around with a shotgun used for pest control and a young kid killed his cousin/brother (I forget which) with it. It's just rarer in Australia because we don't have nearly as many guns and it is more difficult for Joe Average to own one.

        Its extremely rare in Australia cause weapons are required by law to be placed in a secure gun safe. To keep them from being stolen or accessible to unauthorised users inc. children.

          Varies by state, and it's less likely to be properly enforced in farms where a gun is a tool, but most states have fairly strict requirements on the storage of guns and ammunition, especially concealable guns like pistols.

        That is pretty messed up, parents involved should be held accountable as most (if not all Australian) states and territories require a gun safe to own guns.

        My house mate has a gun in a secure safe that is dynabolted into the floor of our laundry. It is Key and code locked and I could never imagine having any other storage system if there were children about.

    "If only she had a gun too." - Donald Trump

      Oh I'm sure the NRA is doing all it can to ensure all 13-year-olds can have guns so they can 'defend' themselves.

      "Only more guns can solve gun violence" - everyone with the power to change anything, every time this happens.

    Thank goodness they have the death penalty in Mississippi. An eye for an eye. That'll fix it.

      Minimum age for criminal responsibility in Mississippi is 10 years, so this kid should be OK.

    SEE! video games DO KILL PEOPLE! Clearly we need to ban all games, ban em all. Back to table tennis with you all! go on skit!

      Ban them, sure, but do it only in America. That country needs a time out.

    I've actually heard a similar story before as one of my parents schoolmates was shot by a sibling for bouncing a basket ball too loudly against the bedroom wall - back before Australia had the gun restrictions we have today.

    But yes, obviously those evil video games are the problem and not the easy access to guns.

      fark......and to think I used to just rip the number plates off my older brother's cars if they gave me the shits. :)

    Oh shit! There goes the neighbourhood...
    This is playing right into dickheads like Trump's unjustified paranoia and excuses.

    America is sooooooo fucked. They always seem to be a country on the verge of ripping themselves apart.

    Only in America is kinder surprise too dangerous for kids. But a gun is okay.

    Christ. This reminds me of a similar story just a couple of years ago.

    Virtual the same thing played out but with neighbours instead of siblings and instead of a game controller it was a puppy.

    I really have to ask. Is the Second Amendment so important that the life of an American (any American) is irrelevant?

      To a large portion of the population and the NRA, yes. The Second Amendment is sacrosanct and nothing can infringe upon it in any way. The NRA are suing the state of Florida for introducing laws raising the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21, for banning bump stocks and for increasing the wait time on rifles to 3 days. Even this is too much for them. The US is f***ed.

        Jesus christ seriously. That is incredible, that a State is taking steps in the right direction for gun safety and these complete muppets try and sue them. There truly is no helping America.

          Apparently these laws impinge on the rights of law abiding citizens. Ironically, the same passage of laws allow teachers to carry firearms in schools. The NRA aren't complaining about that, to nobody's surprise.

          The NRA obviously fear that laws like these will be the thin end of the wedge and they may be right. If one state somehow managed to restrict guns in a meaningful way and the shootings stopped or slowed it could provide the evidence needed that less guns in society means less gun violence. They have a vested interest to make sure that doesn't happen.

            Yeah its just a sad circumstance, that endless lives will be taken & nothing will prevent it happening.

      Alright, buckle up, here comes a history lesson.
      Before I continue, let me say: Yes the 2nd Amendment was important, yes it was that important.
      But to argue it now is still that important is a load of bull.

      Back when the US 'founding fathers' got together, did the constitution and then a few years later got a handful of amendments to it including this one, they'd just had the fight with the UK/Britain/English overlords/lizard people controlled by illuminati/insert descriptor here.

      As part of that, they had organised militia - the Minutemen, so called because they were citizens who could be armed and out defending their area/town within a minute. The US is a big place, and the government (especially when they were just plucky rebels) needed citizens to bolster it's defences. They also acted as law enforcement when needed as well.

      So we come to the 2nd amendment, which was already part of English common law (militia's could bear arms in the UK at this stage, that later got nixed but that's a different story). Many of the guys who drafted the constitution feared tyrannical government - ala Britain to the U.S. - so they needed safeguards, so that the govt. couldn't yank everyone's defences away and then control the populous with an iron fist. In case of invasion (again, US = big place and at that stage it wouldn't have been able to protect all of it with organised official military) they needed the minutemen back. They needed to protect the ability to quickly raise militia. Hence...citizens within a militia can bear arms. There in black and white.

      Later, the militia part of the amendment got overruled by the courts, so it became simply citizens can bear arms.

      Now, over two centuries later, it's not that important to the country as a whole. The US has the ability to defend its sovereign soil with organised, official military. It has wide reaching officially sanctioned law enforcement agencies that technically cover the entire country. It doesn't need a militia anymore.

      But...that amendment is still there so US citizens have the right to bear arms.

      Once upon a time, the argument was that yes, this amendment was for the greater good, it protected the country as a whole, even if it meant the occasional deaths of citizens.

      Now, it is a dinosaur of a bygone era and in my opinion is a fossilised line of coprolite that needs somebody to take to it with a white-out pen.

        Thank you. These people act as though the constitution is pretty much God's own Law, sacred, untouchable and inviolable. A thing to die (and obviously, kill) for as opposed to a legal tool created for the service of citizens by people living in a completely different set of circumstances 200 years ago. They fail to realise the irony that they are defending an /amendment/ which by principle craps over their idea that the Constitution is immutable.

        well you see the arguement now is that they need guns in case the government ever goes full on god emperor and tries to stormtrooper down it's own people. you know ignoring that law enforcement and millitary personel are concerned citizens as well and would probably be the ones actually starting the rebellion if ever needed.

    “...during an argument over an unspecified video game controller.”

    Asking the question we’re all secretly thinking; thank you Kotaku.

      I'm guessing it wasn't a switch controller, that thing breaks in half anyway. Ah 'merica.

    A tragic event highlighting the actual problems with America and gun violence but does this really need to be on Kotaku? At a time when we are trying to educate people about the fact that video games have very little to do with gun violence is it really wise to be publishing stories about gun violence (and violence in general re the girlfirend that stabbed her boyfriend) that have tenuous links at best to video games on a site dedicated to video games?

      I'm glad it's on Kotaku. Sticking our heads in the sand won't make this tragedy go away. I came here to see the discussion after the article.

      I'd be very interested to see how the parents respond, and how authorities will charge the parents. Surely access for a nine year old to a loaded gun counts as child neglect.

      Yes it needs to be here because this story will most certainly be turned into a "video games make kids violent" message rather than a "why was there an unsecured loaded gun in reach of a child" message.

      Lol, I have a feeling you'd be arguing the opposite if it weren't on here? It's topical so yeh why wouldn't they? Dunno where you personally would draw the line on what's fit for our consumption *shrugs*

    Yes guns are a massive issue in America, they need to get rid of them. But... why the fuck would a 9 year old want to shoot his own sister in the head? Take the gun out of the equation and who's to say he wouldn't get a knife and stab her? Not at all saying video games caused this, shitty parenting did and ignoring some probably very obvious signs this kid is messed up.


      At the same time part of the gun control debate in the us is about keeping guns secure at home, Which the NRA also oppose militantly... they dont want mandatory locks or safes.

      Its sad that a fake gun on a toy that shoots projectiles are banned cause they may take out an eye in irresponsible hands... but an actual gun is safe because "we control our own guns" even when children are present.

      At 9 years of age he would have no idea of the consequences of shooting someone in real life. For all we know, he plays CoD and thinks that if you get shot in real life, you re-spawn a few seconds later. Buy you're right though - shitty parenting is at the root of this incident.

        For all we know, he plays CoD and thinks that if you get shot in real life, you re-spawn a few seconds later.
        I don't think any kid seriously believes this.

        For all we know, he plays CoD and thinks that if you get shot in real life, you re-spawn a few seconds later.

        I'm confused, are we blaming games or not? :)

          blaming people for not making sure their kids understand the games arent real. it's like giving a kid game of thrones and calling actual history, sort of thing.

      The argument that people would just use other things to kill if they didn't have guns doesn't hold up for me. If that kid had a knife instead of a gun his sister may very well still be alive. I doubt a 9 year old would have the strength to pierce a human skull with a knife. The girl would have a nasty head wound but no more. It's the lethality (if that's a word) and relative ease of use of firearms that sets them apart from virtually every other item that can be used to kill.

      I hate to heap more pain on a parent who has lost one child at the hands of the other but how the hell do you not properly secure a firearm in a house with kids?

        And this POV has merit. In terms of mechanism of trauma, it's entirely possible for a 9 year old to stab (or slash) someone to death, assuming they don't fight back. Knives are low velocity but still lethal, and kids have smaller blood volumes (less to lose). He doesn't need to stab her in the head to kill her - there's a load of other places to stab (or slash) that can be equally lethal. But it isn't often immediately lethal - unless you were lucky enough to rupture the heart I guess.

        What makes firearms different is that the high velocity makes it much easier to inflict massive damage with comparatively very little effort, and from a distance where defence may be impossible. Depending on the calibre the bullet creates large cavities and can ricochet inflicting massive internal injuries despite apparently small sizes or entry wounds. Add onto the fact that you can repeatedly pull the trigger to unleash death, and firearms are way, way better at killing.

        Can a 9YO kill with a knife? Yes, and certainly if it's another child. Can they kill much more easily with a gun? Fucking hell, yes!

        A relative of mine (I won't say which one, lest they read here), moved to America around 7 years ago now. That relative was employed by a University Hospital, where he was educated as a paramedic and worked his hours over those years to pay back his Uni fees. Not a bad deal. (This all plays into it).

        So, said relative, he's been living near Kansas for quite some time now, working as a Paramedic and when we spoke the first time after he'd graduated and become a full time Paramedic, he said to me "I treat gunshot wounds every single night and most of them are self inflicted". Accidents with guns, idiots shooting around drunk etc, sometimes even the actual occasional moron shooting another moron.

        So, imagine my surprise, when said relative calls up for Christmas one year (approximately 3 years back), we start shooting the shit (pun not intended) and he's telling me the usual gunshot wound stories, now sidebar, while in Australia, this guy did own a pistol at one stage, kept it locked away inside a lockbox, with a trigger lock, inside a goddamn vault bolted to the ground. He kept the ammunition and clips in a seperate lockbox from the gun (I believe this is law??? Maybe?) He was incredibly responsible here. He shot in shooting competitions, he advocated reasonable gun control etc.

        Now, my relative tells me he's bought himself all SORTS of rifles and pistols, I'm talking military grade shit, including an AR15 AND was looking at buying some really intense shit like a .50 calibre rifle (can you legally GET those???).

        He tells me he's joined a freaking Militia over there, that one day 'they'll rise up against Obama if he tries to take their guns'. He's gone full goddamn redneck. It was incredible. My Mum and Dad to this day are shocked. THEN he tells me he's bought an AK. I think it was actually his new wife who got it under her name, but still, there's a freaking AK in his house.

        By now you're thinking 'Bull'. It's not, I'm 100% serious. I asked him where he keeps his guns...

        "Got some in the cupboard, have a shotgun on the wall in the house incase anyone breaks in and keep a pistol in the kitchen drawer"....

        This is a University guy who was a responsible, excellent rolemodel for gun ownership in Australia. America and it's 'let's just do anything' attitude can really affect people. Every day we await a call that something bad has happened, no joke. My Mum and Dad won't ever visit him in the US now due to this, he can't understand why and won't see reason.

        So basically, how do they not secure it? Because if someone with proven intelligence won't do that, I have zero faith in most gun toting yanks to do the same.

        And yeah, he's my brother. Real f*@$ing proud of that one.

          America has a serious issue with it's society, an infectious one it seems.

          Yeah that story confused me when you said a good mate. Then mentioned your parents being shocked. The final sentence helped round off the story for me.

            It's not something I really like revealing to be honest. It's completely true I do promise. I just can't believe sometimes that guy I once idolised, who I considered incredibly intelligent, turned that way once he moved there.

          Yeah that story confused me when you said a good mate. Then mentioned your parents being shocked. The final sentence helped round off the story for me.

      Do you remember much about when you were 9? I'm sure you can remember places, a few favourite things and some noteworthy occurrences, but not your thought processes or decision-making. A kid at that age doesn't think things through, acting mostly on emotional or conditioned responses to stimuli.

        You're not giving a 9 year old much credit. I have a 6 and 8 year old, both of them would know what the end result of a bullet to the head would be or at the very least, they know right from wrong and that hurting other people is not ok. That kid has something wrong with him, it's not video games, it's the parents. 1 for obviously giving the child access to the gun, and 2, for not responsibly caring for a child who clearly has mental issues.

        Another note, I know 2 people who started children's education roles last year in QLD and both of them were in disbelief at how many obviously mentally unstable (including medically diagnosed) kids there are in general public schools, who are not assigned a trained carer but just given a Teacher's Aid or just the regular teacher alone to care for them. These kids hit other students, teachers, even random parents, throw furniture and everyone is supposed to accept it as ok, let's all be "inclusive" and treat everyone the same. One of the Teacher's Aids quit because she was tired of being punched in the face, screamed at, or literally had to chase a child with mental issues. This is in a higher socioeconomic suburb, for what that's worth. The parents of these kids laugh it off like they're just being kids. When the hell did it become ok for kids to act this way and not have the behaviour treated correctly by a professional?

        Anyway, kind of off topic but sort or related lol.

        But hey, for all we know, maybe the child didn't think the gun was loaded and it was supposed to be a prank?

    It's too soon to be talking about video game control.

    I feel bad for the poor girl... but only the girl. I'm sorry her shithead parents decided to live in America, the dumbest fucking country on the surface of the Earth, and indulged themselves in its blithering national stupidity by cheerfully taking advantage of their Second Amendment rights without considering the accompanying responsibilities (because the idea of there being "responsibilities" to go with owning a deadly weapon is unAmerican, just like "compassion" or "intelligence").

    Seriously, anyone who chooses to live in the Braindead Moronland there deserves what they get, just like anyone who chooses to live on the slope of an active volcano, but the poor girl didn't even have the choice to not be stupid; it was made for her. I hope her parents are suffering for their stupidity.

      This might sound odd, but I also feel pity for the boy. If not for his parents stupidity, two lives wouldn't have been ruined. She died, undeniably true and that's the worst part of this, but a 9 year old kid using a gun his parents bought and kept stored poorly, surely they'll be charged, surely???

        The boy is definitely worthy of pity. Little by little it will down on him the enormity of what he has done and growing up with that is going to be hell, not to mention the almost inevitable coldness that he's going to experience from his parents. It's really hard for me to imagine a happy ending, but I still hope that the family somehow manages.

    The right to bear arms was written back in the days of canons and muskets - so stupid it still applies to military grade assault rifles and concealable weapons.

      and it's clearly written in the context of a civilian "militia" as well not that everyone should have access to guns.

      Oh well their country, their laws and they have to live with the consequences

    how many domestic gun incidents and accidents occur annually in merica?
    Is it really worth it merica?
    poor girl

    She survived the attack...
    ...the girl later died...
    One of these things is not like the other.

    Dammit. Would it really be so bad to keep carriage returns in posts?

    Last edited 20/03/18 2:27 pm

      It's pretty clear: she survived the initial trauma, but later died at hospital as a result of her injury.

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