Boy, 12, Was 'Coming to the Defense of His Mother' When He Fatally Shot Her Husband: Authorities

The 12-year-old shot his mom's husband twice using a rifle.
The 12-year-old shot his mom's husband twice using a rifle. Getty

The 56-year-old man was shot twice with a rifle and died before law enforcement arrived.

A rifle-toting 12-year-old boy was only defending his mom when he shot and killed her husband during a domestic dispute in Tennessee, authorities said.

The man, 56-year-old Kevron Thomas “Tommy” Durham, of Deer Lodge was reportedly shot twice, including once in the chest, in his home Saturday night.

A family member, who was not home during the shooting, dialed 911. Durham died before law enforcement arrived.

Durham was reportedly engaged in a domestic situation with his wife, Peggy, when her son intervened. Peggy was a repeat domestic violence victim, and there had reportedly been at least five calls reporting domestic violence in their home since August, according to a release from the district attorney’s office. None of the calls resulted in criminal charges. 

"It appears that this is going to be a situation of the juvenile coming to the defense of his mother, who was a victim in this and the other incidents of domestic violence," 9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson said.

It’s unclear whether Durham was the boy’s father or stepfather.

The district attorney’s office is now working with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Morgan County Sheriff's Office to investigate the shooting.

Johnson said they are now looking the best way to proceed, keeping in mind the boy’s mental welfare.

"This juvenile suspect needs counseling and services that could be provided in juvenile court, if he were charged in juvenile court," Johnson said. "But if he were an adult, we wouldn't charge him — it's defense of a third party."