Grandfather Charged After Admitting He Shot and Killed His 16-Year-Old Grandson, Police Say

Grandpa Kills Grandson
Thomas Ribby has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, resulting in death, and resisting arrest. Henry County Detention Center

A 70-year-old Missouri man is behind bars after admitting he shot and killed his teen grandson, police say.

A 70-year-old Missouri man has been charged in connection with the shooting death of his 16-year-old grandson after acknowledging he pulled the trigger, authorities said.

Thomas Ribby faces felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child, resulting in death, and resisting arrest, according to online records.

He pleaded not guilty earlier this week to the charges. He has a scheduled bail reduction hearing on Friday and is being held at the Henry County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, according to jail records.

The grandfather allegedly acknowledged shooting his grandson Sunday, according to a probable cause statement filed by a Clinton Police Department officer. Ribby "admitted to knowingly pointing his Glock .45 caliber pistol at the victim and pulling the trigger believing it was unloaded," the statement alleges. 

Ribby said he shot his grandson in the back, police said. Officers responding to a 911 call found the teen lying "in a pool of blood" in front of his home, the statement says. Ribby refused to comply with officers' commands that he lie on the ground and instead went into his apartment and locked the door, authorities said.

The grandfather was eventually arrested after officers entered his home, police said. In an interview with investigators, Ribby said he had given his unloaded handgun to his grandson earlier in the evening to "play with," the probable cause statement alleges.

Later, Ribby said he took the gun away from his grandson, loaded it with a magazine, and put it away, authorities said. His grandson then took the gun and went outside, where Ribby said he again took the gun away, removed the magazine, and pointed it at his grandson and pulled the trigger, the probable cause statement alleges.

Ribby said he did not realize there was a bullet in the chamber, according to police.

Ribby's daughter, the teen's mother, told a local station she no longer considers Ribby her father.

“I don’t even want to see him. He’s not my dad. He’s not my dad at all. I don’t ever want to talk to him again," Melissa Ribby told WDAF-TV. "And I don’t care if he burns in hell. I don’t care."

The teen's mother said her son had a troubled relationship with his grandfather, but things had improved lately, authorities said.

The mom said her son had come into her bedroom, clutching his bloody chest, and said, "Papa shot me," before the teen stumbled outside and collapsed, authorities said. 

Related Stories