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Tragic: 16-year-old fatally shoots father after witnessing his dad strangling his mother, cops say

A 16-year-old teen fatally shot his father Saturday after witnessing his dad strangling his mother in their home in Fresno, California, police said. (Image source: KFSN-TV video screenshot)

A 16-year-old teenager fatally shot his father Saturday after witnessing his dad strangling his mother in their home in Fresno, California, police said.

"There's literally a family's life that's been destroyed, and my heart breaks for everybody that's been involved," Nicole Linder — executive director of Marjaree Mason Center in Fresno, which supports victims of domestic violence — told KFSN-TV in the wake of the incident.

What happened?

Detectives told the station that 54-year-old Javier Vera was arguing with his wife Saturday afternoon. At some point, the argument turned violent, and the teen shot his father after seeing him choking his mother, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said in an earlier story to KSFN.

"I mean, scary situation, Mom and Dad are in this fight, and you end up taking your dad's life," Tony Botti of the sheriff's office told the station.

Detectives spent the night processing the home for evidence and interviewing the son and have determined the shooting was to protect his mother, KSFN reported.

The teen is with his mother, the station said, adding that detectives did not place him under arrest and don't plan to do so.

Image source: KFSN-TV video screenshot

What else did the domestic violence expert say?

"I hear a lot of people that think and want to pretend that the kids have no idea what's going on in a relationship," Linder of the Marjaree Mason Center added to KSFN. "But the sheer fact is they see, they hear, they witness, they feel, and there's a lot of trauma that the kids are enduring when they're in an abusive home."

Image source: KFSN-TV video screenshot

The Marjaree Mason Center also provides emergency and longer-term safe housing for domestic violence victims.

"It affects everybody in our community and I think we all need to stand up and take it seriously," Linder added to KSFN.



(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)

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