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Festus man shoots, kills son after attack on mother

FESTUS, Mo. – The Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is considering possible charges over a domestic dispute involving a Festus family.

According to a spokesperson for the Festus Police Department, officers were called the 100 block of Olive Street just after 3:40 a.m. on Monday.

Captain Doug Wendel said they found a 29-year-old man had been shot to death in the home.

Officers learned the man had been drinking, got into an argument with his mother. Hearing the commotion, the father walked into the room to see his son choking the mother on the floor. Police said the father tried to get his son off of her and eventually struck him with the butt of a handgun.

Police said the son threw his father across the room and threatened to kill him, at which point the father opened fire and struck his son.

Police said the son died as a result. It's not clear if he was pronounced dead at the scene or taken to a hospital.

“It's a very tragic situation,” said Wendel, Assistant Police Chief with the Festus Police Department. “You never wake up one day and decide that ‘Hey, I'm going to attack my mother or father’ and parents never wake up and say, ‘Hey, I'm going to shoot my son.' So just any way, shape, or form, this is a tragic incident."

The mother said her husband had no choice; he was trying to protect her and himself. She said their son suffered from mental illness due to lead poisoning when they lived across the street from the smelter in Herculaneum and he was living with them as they were working to get him help.

Festus police arrested the father but released him Monday. The Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office is investigating and will determine if charges will be filed against the father.

Police have not released the identities of the family members.

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