A ten-year old boy suspected of shooting dead his mother may have argued with her beforehand about whether to carry firewood into the home, a sheriff's deputy said.
The boy has been charged with murder as a juvenile and entered the equivalent of a not guilty plea in court. His mother, 46-year-old Deborah McVay, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head on Sunday night in Big Prairie, Ohio.
The preliminary investigation indicates an argument may have precipitated the shooting, said Holmes County Sheriff's chief deputy, Nathan Fritz. "There may have been an argument over whether he should bring firewood into the house," Mr Fritz said, "and possibly escalated from there". Four weapons were found in the boy's bedroom. On his bed were the .22 calibre rifle believed to be the weapon that killed his mother and a 12-gauge shotgun. On a gun rack hung two more .22 calibre rifles, Mr Fritz said. Paramedics found Ms McVay lying face down on her living room floor, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities went to the house, in rolling farmland, after a neighbour called the authorities to say the boy had come to her home and said he had just shot his mother.
"I'm her neighbour. I'm over here. She's bleeding from her head," the neighbour told emergency services. When the telephone operator asked "Is she breathing?" the neighbour answered, "No, she's bleeding."P