A troubled 14-year-old Detroit boy broke into his step dad's bedroom, stole a 12 gauge shotgun and used it to fire 10 shots into his mother as she slept on a couch in the living room of her home.
Police say Joshua Smith killed his mother, Tamiko Robinson, 36, in a hail of gunfire just after midnight on Monday. Grieving family members have custody of Robinson's surviving 5-year-old daughter -- Joshua's little sister -- who witnessed the crime.
According to FOX Detroit News, Robinson's fiance was also in the house at the time of the shooting. He leapt through a plate glass window to avoid being shot.
After the shooting, police caught the teenager driving around in his mother's stolen car. He is being held at a juvenile detention center without bond. A judge will determine this weekend if Joshua will be tried as an adult.
Robinson, a dialysis patient, who was battling lupus, struggled to keep Joshua off the streets. Friends say Joshua was a good student, who was on the swim team at Kettering High School. But the lure of the streets and gang banging was too powerful for him to resist.
According to family members, Robinson was a strict disciplinarian, who used the belt unsparingly to keep young Joshua in line. But the boy grew up fast. By age 13, he stood 6-2, and outweighed his sickly mother by at least 50 lbs.
Joshua's uncle, LeShaun Roberts, told Fox Detroit News that Joshua, 14, "wanted to hang with the big boys," who were in their twenties.
With her health slowly declining, Robinson may have become a burden to her son, whom she depended on to help around the house.
"His mother was real sick and she called him every time she needed something, and he was tired of that," explained Roberts. Joshua reportedly ran away from home. But his determined mother found him and brought him back.
Joshua's cousin, Ceilcia Smith, told FOX Detroit that stories about Joshua gang banging and using drugs were exaggerated.
"Everything everybody's been talking about -- he was joy riding, he was smoking, he was in a gang -- you all are lying. He's been with me," Smith told FOX 2 News.
Smith said Joshua spent four days playing video games at her house before the shooting. "He [was] in one spot sitting there crying hysterically," Smith said.
"That's the reason we called the police. He said somebody shot his mama. He didn't say he did it. He said somebody did it."
Smith added: "I know my cousin [isn't] a straight up killer. He [isn't a] monster."
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