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Daniel Petric Assassinates Mom, Shoots Pastor Dad in Head Over Video Games

By Cory Zurowski in homicide
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 8:06 am
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A staph infection from a snowboarding accident rocked teenager Daniel Petric's carefree world hard. It saddled him homebound, unable to go to school, and forget about physical activity. The hook was set when a friend introduced the X-Box and video games to the 16-year-old Ohioan...
   
Relegated to the home front, Petric soon found himself plying games like "Halo-3" up to 18 hours daily. 

For Daniel's parents, Sue and Mark Petric -- a minister at the New Life Assembly of God in Wellington -- such violent electronic pursuits by their teen son did not sit well. When they found out Daniel had snuck out of the house one night and had purchased "Halo-3" despite their admonishments, they confiscated his newly-purchased game.

The teen reacted by getting ridiculously pissed. 

One evening not long after his parents took his video fun away from him, Mark and Sue Petric prepped to sit down and watch a Cleveland Indians game at their Brighton Township, Ohio home. 

Daniel walked into the room, telling his folks: "Would you close your eyes, I have a surprise fro you.

His parents thought their teenager wanted to apologize to them for acting like such a shit.

Instead, Daniel, who had raided his father's lockbox, raised his 9 mm handgun -- loaded with hollow point rounds -- and fired multiple shots into his unsuspecting mother, killing her instantly. He then unleashed the fury on his father, shooting a round into his head. 

Mark Petric remembered "his head went numb" as blood poured from his shattered skull. He also recalled hearing Daniel say to him, "Hey dad, here's your gun. Take it."

Daniel Petric was trying to make the killing scene look like a murder-suicide executed by his father.

The teen gunmen would be discovered only minutes later by his sister and brother-in-law in the front seat of the family van in the driveway. His copy of "Halo-3" rode shotgun.

Despite suffering a shattered skull and jaw injuries and being in a coma fro more than two weeks, Daniel's father would survive the attempted slaughter. 

His case garnered national attention because Daniel's defense lawyers argued his addiction to violent games led to the day of carnage. 

Defense attorney, James Kersey, told jurors the enormous amount of stress put on Daniel due to his staph infection caused him to be more prone to be influenced by the game's violent content. Moreover, Kersey said Daniel had been playing the game so long that he did not comprehend the fact that death was final and very real.

Ultimately, jurors disagreed and Daniel Petric was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Due to his age, Daniel was not eligible for the death penalty.

Now, three-plus years later, Pastor Mark Petric has gone public declaring that he and his family have come to forgive their son of his heinous crimes.

In an interview given to WJW-Fox 8, Pastor Mark Petric said he intially "hated" Daniel after he had found out that his wife died. 

However, as he recovered from his wounds, said Petric, he turned to God for help and He spoke to him: "I was reminded of the words of Jesus on the cross, 'forgive them father, they know not what they do.'"

It was then, Petric said, when Divine Intervention took place: "I just started crying and the Lord said, 'I'll enable you to forgive your son.'"

Nowadays, Pastor Petric often visits his son -- who has apologized for his crimes -- in prison.

The family is now on a collective mission to keep violent video games from the hands of America's youth.

"I'm gonna fight them," says Petric of the video game producers. "They put weapons in the hands of our children that teaches them murder, and that killing is okay."

Petric also told the TV station that he hopes other people can learn from his lesson in forgiveness.

See our last story from the Rotten Little Bastards file: Alexis Shields & Desiree Linares Smother Foster Mom With Pillow to Go Joyriding.


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