Father mistakes son for intruder, fatally shoots him; no charges filed

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CINCINNATI, Ohio (Jan. 13, 2016) — Georta Mack’s father thought the teen had gone to school Tuesday morning. Instead, the 14-year-old Cincinnati boy sneaked back into the basement of his home, investigators say, where his father, mistaking him for an intruder, shot and killed him — a tragedy, but not a crime, say authorities.

No charges will be filed against Mack’s 72-year-old father, because evidence shows that the dad’s story about mistaking the boy for an intruder checks out, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters said Wednesday.

“There is one one word for this: tragedy,” Deters said. “It is impossible to imagine how horrible the father must feel for mistaking his son for an intruder.”

“All of the forensic evidence matches what the father told the police, and, therefore, no charges are appropriate.”

Police said the father, whose name has not been released, called 911 at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday to report that he had shot his son.

“I just shot my son by accident,” the father is heard saying in a recording of the 911 call obtained by CNN affiliate WCPO. “He scared me. I thought he was in school. I heard noise and then I went downstairs looking. He jumped out at me. I shot him.”

“Oh God. Oh God. Why didn’t you go to school?” the father says.

The incident happened, the father told police, after he saw Georta walk to a bus stop, and then saw the bus leave.

After the father sent a text to Georta to confirm he was on the bus, the teen called to say that he was indeed on board, a news release from Deters’ office said.

The father heard noises in the home a short time later. Concerned about a break-in, he retrieved a .45 revolver and searched the home, the release said.

“When dad was in the basement, he opened a closet door. Georta was in the closet and yelled, ‘Boo,’ ” the office said.

“The father said that he was startled when he fired a single shot. The shot hit Georta in the neck. Georta was transported to Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”

This is at least the second case of a family member shooting and killing a family member — apparently by mistake — within the last two weeks. On the night of December 29, a woman in St. Cloud, Florida, shot her 27-year-old daughter, apparently mistaking her for a burglar. The woman fired only one round, police said, and the daughter later died at a hospital.

CNN did not identify family members in that case by request of St. Cloud Police, who said the father of the victim had been an undercover police officer.

St. Cloud police said the shooting appears to be accidental, but that an investigation is ongoing.

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