A 17-year-old male shot his parents - killing his mother and wounding his father - all because they took Halo 3 away from him.
Way to go, buddy.
That’s probably a good summation of gamers worldwide after hearing Daniel Petric’s deadly retaliation. There’s nothing more sickening than violence related to games, especially sickening to those who depend on the medium as a source of income. Is this kid really a byproduct of electronic violence, or suffering the after-effects of a violent household? The vicious scenario, laid out by prosecutors during Monday’s trial, paints a familiar scene yanked from any crime drama.
According to the prosecutors, Daniel sneaked out of his bedroom back in September 2007, and later snuck back in with a tasty, just-purchased retail copy of Halo 3. Banned from playing games of this nature, Daniel was forced to hand over the game once caught by his parents. Thus his father, Mark Petric, a minister at New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, took the copy of Halo 3 and locked it away in a lockbox located in his closet (which incidentally was the same place he kept a 9mm handgun tucked away).
A month later, Daniel broke into the lockbox and retrieved both the Halo 3 game and the 9mm handgun. Once both items were in hand, Daniel went downstairs and approached his parents as they lounged on the couch. He asked them to close their eyes, claiming the he had a "surprise." Mark Petric, 45, testified that he was actually expecting a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, that pleasant surprise turned out to be a shot in the head, killing the mother and "gravely" wounding the father. Daniel immediately place the gun in his father’s hand, saying "Hey Dad, here’s your gun. Take it."
Mark, still alive, blood pouring from his bullet wound, his head numb, realized that his wife was dead. He believes that he is still alive because of his older daughter and son-in-law arriving at the house to watch an Indians game.
"You guys shouldn’t come in," he heard Daniel tell the couple outside. "Mom and Dad had a big argument."
Like some cue from a horror movie, Heidi and Andrew both said that they heard moans coming from inside the house, perhaps even calling out their names. After bursting into the house and investigating, they found the wounded father and dead mother. In response, Daniel picked up the gun, poised to kill, however Andrew managed to seize the weapon from the boy before any additional slayings occurred. Daniel fled in the family van, but was captured by police shortly thereafter, Halo 3 sitting in the front seat like some possessed Book of the Dead.
Now on trial, Daniel faces charges of murder and attempted murder. He is being tried without a jury before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge. Daniel’s lawyer commented that the boy was under heavy stress at the time of the incident, as a snowboarding accident left the teen with a severe staph infection. The accident also caused severe spinal damage, and the slightest injury could leave him paralyzed as a result (but he can climb out a window and hike all the way to a retail store to purchase Halo 3). Daniel became familiar with the Halo franchise while recuperating for a year, lying around watching television and playing games. His parents eventually banned games like Halo 3, saying that they are too violent.
Lawyers prosecuting the case do not wish to seek the death penalty, and surprisingly enough, the boy’s family wants him home. In the year Daniel has been in custody, both father and son have mended bridges, and the family actually wants Daniel to come back home.
"You’re my son," Mark Petric said after Daniel apologized for what he had done. "You’re my boy."