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12-year-old TN boy saves mother’s life by shooting stepdad with .44 magnum

Boy holding a toy gun. (Axelle B./Public Domain Pictures)
October 04, 2018

A 12-year-old Tennessee boy shot and killed his stepfather on Saturday night during a domestic violence incident, saving his mother’s life.

The boy fired twice at 56-year-old Kevron Thomas “Tommy” Durham, hitting him in the chest. He was dead when police arrived, The Jackson Sun reported.

The 9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s office said the incident took place in the Deer Lodge community.

On the night of Sept. 29, a family member called 911 from a neighbor’s home to report a domestic violence situation between Durham and his wife, Peggy. The boy, who was in the home at the time, loaded a Ruger .44 magnum and fired in defense of his mother.

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Johnson said, “It appears that this is going to be a situation of the juvenile coming to the defense of his mother, who was a victim in this and the other incidents of domestic violence.”

Johnson added, “We feel like this juvenile suspect needs counseling and services that could be provided in juvenile court, if he were charged in juvenile court. But if he were an adult, we wouldn’t charge him — it’s defense of a third party.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office are conducting an investigation.

Police said domestic violence incidents were common at this address, however, no criminal charges were ever filed, WVLY 8 News reported.

The last call prior to this incident was in Aug. 2018, but police report five other domestic violence calls to the Durham home since 2013. The Aug. 24 incident was logged by 911 dispatchers as a husband and wife physical altercation after the husband hit the wife and she locked him out of the residence.

An arrest was made in 2014 when a 911 call came into EMS. The caller said her parents were “arguing and ha[d] been for a couple of days, and the mother tried to get the guns to move them, and he grabbed the mother by the hair and slung her.”

In 2015 when another 911 call came in, dispatch said, “We have a history of domestics at this residence.”

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Two years later, a call to 911 revealed that the couple’s 14-year-old daughter had run away and had been “getting into a lot of trouble.”

“We are still looking at what we can do through juvenile court with the suspect. Our greatest concern at this point is that child’s well being going forward in dealing with what has transpired, so we are leaving all of our options open in that respect,” Johnson said.

Morgan County Sheriff Wayne Potter said, “I’m pleased with the way that my investigators and officers were able to work this tragic situation with TBI. My concerns also are with this family, their loss and the child suspect going forward.”