A 10-year-old New Mexico boy suspected of fatally shooting his father told officers he did it because the man was punishing him, according to a police report made public Monday.
Police allege the boy shot 42-year-old Bryon Hilburn with a rifle with his 6-year-old sister in the room, then flagged down officers outside the family's home in Belen, south of Albuquerque.
Investigators with the Belen Police Department have turned over the report and other evidence gathered at the home after the Aug. 27 incident to the district attorney's office.
District Attorney Lemuel Martinez says his office has 60 days to review the case and determine whether to file charges against the boy in Juvenile Court. Martinez declined to discuss details of case.
The name of the boy is being withheld because of his age. Police said he was being held at a psychiatric hospital in Albuquerque, but officers did not immediately return calls seeking the name of his lawyer.
‘He was punishing me’
The first two officers who responded to calls of gunshots said the boy asked them to quickly go inside the home. One of the officers heard the boy say, "I shot my dad in the head because he was punishing me," according to the police report.
The officers could not open the door because Hilburn was lying on the other side, bleeding heavily from the back of his head, the report said.
Officers found Hilburn still breathing when they reached him. He was taken to an Albuquerque hospital, where he later died.
Police Sgt. Joe Portio said the boy told the officers he had used his own rifle to shoot Hilburn.
The officers asked to see the gun, and the boy led them to a closet in a back room, where he pointed out a black and camouflage rifle in an open gun case, the report states. The closet contained several other rifles.
Police seized a 20-gauge shotgun that contained a single yellow round. A spent yellow casing was found in the hallway.
In the report, the sister told police she was playing video games when she saw her brother with a weapon. The girl then "heard a shot and saw her father ... lay on the floor by the entrance to the home."