September 7th, 2003, 07:04 AM
Video Game Blamed for Murder
NEW YORK (Sept. 6) - The family of a slain motorist has filed suit against the maker of a video game that two teens claim inspired them to shoot at passing cars on a Tennessee highway.
Grand Theft Auto, a video game that allows players to "fire" on people and cars in realistic, shoot-'em-up fashion, is a cash cow that propelled manufacturer TAKE2interactive to the top of the video game industry. For the middle and high school students who play the game for hours on end, it's a means of escaping the monotony of teenage life.
But for two stepbrothers, 16-year-old William and 14-year-old Joshua Buckner, that escape turned deadly this summer. They told police they were emulating Grand Theft Auto on the night of June 25 when they took shotguns to Interstate 40, near their Newport, Tenn., home, and opened fire on vehicles.
A Bullet Through the Window
The boys told police they did not mean to hit people, but the results were catastrophic.
"I have eight bullet fragments all in my body," said 19-year-old Kimberly Bede, of Moneta, Va., who was hit in the pelvis as she rode in the passenger seat of her boyfriend's car. "The bullet entered my hip and I'm still receiving medical treatment."
Aaron Hamel, a 45-year-old registered nurse from Knoxville, Tenn., traveling in a separate car, was killed.
"We had a beautiful day in the mountains, and we were heading back home to Knoxville," said Hamel's cousin, Denise Deneau on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America Friday.
"We were talking, laughing, listening to music and all of a sudden my cousin told me to look at the beautiful flowers. And as I did that, my glass shattered and I felt heat across my face," she said.
When Deneuau saw the glass and blood she thought she had been shot, but when she realized the car was out of control, she looked at Hamel. "He had a large bullet hole at the side of his head," Deneuau said.
After the car made it across the highway, passing oncoming traffic, it stopped at the guard rail.
Deneuau said she knew her cousin would die quickly from the nature of the injury. "I reassured him that I was OK and that I would take care of his pets and I told him that I loved him," she said.
Family members say the nature of Hamel's death is especially ironic because he had volunteered to work at a Tennessee facility for wayward teens shortly before the shooting.
Teens Plead Guilty, Lawsuit Filed
The teenage shooters, who each pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, will be held at a state juvenile detention center until they turn 19. The law in Tennessee allows them to remain in the custody of the state Department of Children's Services until they are 19, but no longer.
In written statements, the boys expressed remorse for their actions.
"I will always hate myself for what I did. I am so sorry," wrote William Buckner.
"I didn't want to hurt anyone," wrote Joshua Buckner. "This will be with me the rest of my life."
The Hamel family hired attorney Jack Thompson and filed suit Thursday against TAKE2interactive, the video game maker. Thompson says it's time to send a message to the video game makers.
"We want to send a message with a huge verdict to Sony and TAKE2interactive and the entire video game industry that if they're going to continue to market adult-rated games to children with these horrific consequence, then we're going to take their blood money from them and send a message to their boards that they have to stop this practice or there will be other suits on behalf of other people, killed by these games," Thompson said.
TAKE2interactive declined to comment to Good Morning America about the incident.
Are Parents the Gatekeepers?
It's not the first time the game Grand Theft Auto has been linked to bouts of real-life violence.
A gang of teenagers in California, charged with plotting carjackings and murder, say their actions were inspired by playing Grand Theft Auto, morning, noon, and night.
In Oakland, Calif., a group of young people who called themselves the "Nut Cases" told police they played violent video games before going out and robbing and killing random victims on the street. They said their favorite was Grand Theft Auto. The five men and one woman are facing charges in dozens of robberies and five killings that took place in 2002 and early 2003.
The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the video game industry, pointed to research showing that youth crime has gone down even as video games have proliferated. The games are rated for violence, and ultimately, parents make the decisions about what games they bring into their homes, the association said in a statement.
"Parents are present at and involved in the purchase or rental of games 83 percent of the time, according to a September 2000 Federal Trade Commission report," the association said.
Family members of those killed in video game-related shooting sprees say it is time to take Grand Theft Auto off the market, before more lives are lost.
Bede, who says she will never fully recover from the incident that left bullet fragments in her body, isn't satisfied with the sentence the Buckner boys received. "I really don't think they got what they deserve," she said.
Source : AOL Welcome Screen
Any opinions on these cases .... this is not the first one ....
September 7th, 2003, 09:15 AM
That is totaly and uterly rediculus, if you are old enuf to be around gns then you should be oldenuf to relise right and wrong... It really pissess me off when people go and commit a crime then turn around and blame the media wheather it be a movie, tv, music or in this case a game. Why should thay go and spoil it for everyone else??
This really pissess me off, Where were there parents when this occured??
Thay are not evean oldanuf to drive by them selves!!!
Thay need a beating by every person who was affected by there actions...
September 7th, 2003, 09:38 AM
We need to bring back public hanging. If everyone in town could
walk past their limp bodies dangling there in the public square
this s**t would stop almost immediately.
You think the gaming industry is going to "get a message" from
a lawsuit? Lawsuits are part of the cost of doing business,
and factored in to the price when they sell the product.
A few hooligans being hanged occasionally. That would
do the trick.
I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.
September 7th, 2003, 10:45 AM
Tho the only problem with that is the old bags who are all antyviolence....
how about thay get sent to a prison for a week... (a real prision not a detention center or a juvinil prison)
September 7th, 2003, 06:59 PM
People always blame the video games. They dare not say their kids were stupid little teens who didn't use their brains. If they had access to guns, then they should be responsible enough to know how dangerous they are.
I have been around guns since I was 13. I know have three of them, which I use for deer hunting, and turkey hunting. When you use a gun, you have to use common sense. These kids obvciously did not.
I just don't understand it. How could they think that if they fired live ammo onto a freeway at cars, that they wouldn't hit anyone. They had to know that harm would come to someone. Unfortunately, it came to a lot of people. I think these kids deserve the jail time.
September 7th, 2003, 08:40 PM
Ok this is utter Bull, come on. How the hell can they be that Dumb.
It is impossible, seriously.
Think about it like this. Why would, 2 teens be that stupid.
I will tell you what I think happened. They wanted to ster things up a bit.
So what better way to do that then to start shooting, now I don't really think that they meant to hurt anyone, they probably meant to just scare people, and get away.
But, why use the Video game company easy. Scape Goat, when they say that it was the game that got them to do it then, most of the attention is taken away form them and put on the company.
Now, how do you prove this, simple.
I am sure these kids have seen, a Night of the Living dead, or something to that area. Now because of that. You can prove that they didn't take a chainsaw out and start trying to kill people, which is something that you can do in GTA I know because I have played the game.
Now let's see, they wanted to scare a couple people and get away, another way to prove this is that they were on a Motorcycle or bike or whatever. If they were completely emulating the game then they would of walked around in there local area doing this just walking down the street shooting people, which is something you can do in the game.
The fact that the had away to get away says that they, were making a joke out of the entire thing.
The 2 are to smart, and stupid for there on good.
RC we don't need Public Hangings, we need there parents to beat there ASS. That is what keep me from doing dumb **** like this the fear, that my mother was going to beat my ass. I feared that every waking moment.
So you give these 2 a ass whoping and they will straighten there **** up.
September 7th, 2003, 08:48 PM
I agree, its a total load of crap. Anyone who says xyz game inspired them to do **** like is just plain stupid. Yet another case where people do something then are afraid to deal with the consequences. I dont think it really matter if parents beat their kids ass or not, if a person, irregardless of their age does something like this, they should be treated as an adult would, and be forced to be held accountable for their actions.
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September 8th, 2003, 01:40 AM
I think any cort that beleaves such Bull Shot should be shot...
September 8th, 2003, 02:45 AM
Hey Nightfalls girl,
Its Bull ****, not shot. lol
You ever hear of grammar school?? lol
September 8th, 2003, 02:51 AM
I wanted to right it tho i didnt think i should swear, you knoe ther are 13 yr olds reading this...