FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. — A 92-year-old Arizona woman angry at her son for wanting to send her to an assisted living facility, allegedly shot him to death Monday.
A few days after Anna Mae Blessing’s 72-year-old son told his mother about the facility, she grabbed two pistols, put them in her robe pockets and walked into her son’s bedroom on July 2, according to police.
She told investigators that she pulled one of the pistols out and fired multiple rounds, fatally striking her son, Thomas Blessing, according to a statement from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Her son’s girlfriend was also in the room, police said. Blessing allegedly aimed at the girlfriend and the two struggled over the weapon.
The girlfriend knocked the pistol from Blessing’s hand, according to sheriff’s office officials. Then, the 92-year-old woman pulled out the second pistol, but her son’s girlfriend was able to knock that gun from her hand as well.
When deputies arrested Blessing at the Fountain Hills apartment, she said “You took my life, so I’m taking yours,” according to The Arizona Republic.
Blessing has been charged with murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.
“It is always concerning when domestic issues escalate to violence or tragic outcomes,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said. “They are often isolated and neither predictable nor preventable.”
Penzone said at a press conference Thursday that law enforcement had been to Blessing’s home multiple times for threats and domestic disputes. He said there were 13 guns at the residence, none of which were secured.
Sheriff’s department officials are now reviewing the case to determine whether or not anything more could have been done to prevent the killing.
“If we failed in any way, shape or form, that is unacceptable,” Penzone said. “But we’re not ultimately the ones responsible when an individual decides to take the act of using a firearm or other weapon to take another life. It is that individual’s responsibility; they own that act.”