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Her 72-year-old son was going to put her in assisted living. But she killed him first, cops say

Anna Mae Blessing, 92, faces a murder charge in Arizona after allegedly shooting and killing her son, who reportedly wanted to place her in assisted living. She then allegedly went after his girlfriend, who was able to knock the gun away.
Anna Mae Blessing, 92, faces a murder charge in Arizona after allegedly shooting and killing her son, who reportedly wanted to place her in assisted living. She then allegedly went after his girlfriend, who was able to knock the gun away. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

A 92-year-old Arizona woman used two handguns to attack her 72-year-old son and his girlfriend after she learned he wanted to place her in an assisted living facility, Maricopa County police say.

Now her son is dead, and she faces a charge of first-degree murder, CBS 5 reported.

"This is definitely an odd one," Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Bryant Vanegas told the station. "There's a lot of circumstances surrounding it, of course, but it's definitely something you don't see every day and it's very unfortunate that this took place."

Police responded to a call at a Fountain Hills, Ariz., home at around 10 a.m. Monday in regards to "unknown trouble," according to a release from the sheriff's office.

When they arrived, a witness told police that 92-year-old Anna Mae Blessing had shot and killed her 72-year-old son, according court records. When police entered the home, they found the man suffering from apparent gunshot wounds to his jaw and neck.

The ordered the suspect to come out of the home, but there was no response. When they searched the building, they found Blessing sitting in a recliner, and arrested her there after she continued to refuse to follow their orders, police said in a probable cause statement.

As they escorted her out of the building, she allegedly said something like "You took my life, so I'm taking yours," according to police.

Police later learned from interviews that the woman had been upset because her son and his girlfriend had been planning to move her to an assisted living facility, according to the Arizona Republic. The deceased man's girlfriend told police Blessing confronted the victim and told him she was tired of how she was being treated before violence erupted, according to court records.

From interviews, police say were able to piece together what happened.

"According to statements provided by suspect Blessing and received by the detectives, she had been contemplating for several days her son’s intentions to place her in an assisted living facility. Blessing retrieved two pistols and concealed them in the pockets of her robe then confronted her son in his bedroom," the MCSO said in a news release.

"During the confrontation, Blessing stated that she removed the handgun and fired multiple rounds striking and killing her son. She then pointed the gun at her son’s girlfriend and the two struggled over the weapon when it was dislodged from her hand. Blessing retrieved the second handgun and attempted to point it at the girlfriend, who knocked it from Blessing’s possession."

Police were able to arrest Blessing without further incident, and when asked what should happen to her, she reportedly said she should be "put to sleep," according to court records, and also said she had intended to kill herself but did not have enough guns.

"It is always concerning when domestic issues escalate to violence or tragic outcomes,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a statement. “They are often isolated and neither predictable nor preventable.”

Blessing is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping, according to CBS 5.

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