PD: Woman, 92, shot, killed son over assisted living plans

A 92-year-old woman shot and killed her 72-year-old son because he wanted to put her in an assisted living facility, ...

Posted: Jul 5, 2018 4:51 PM
Updated: Jul 5, 2018 4:51 PM

A 92-year-old woman shot and killed her 72-year-old son because he wanted to put her in an assisted living facility, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

In what MCSO described as a "bizarre turn of events," Anna Mae Blessing is facing one charge each of first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

Deputies were called out to the Fountain Hills about 10 a.m. Monday.

Blessing was had been living with her son, Thomas Blessing, and his girlfriend in the girlfriend's condo. They moved her in about six months ago from out of state.

"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," explained a news release from MCSO. "Blessing retrieved two pistols and concealed them in the pockets of her robe then confronted her son in his bedroom."

MCSO said she shot her son twice before turning the gun on his 57-year-old girlfriend.

While struggling with that woman, whose name has not been released, Blessing lost her grip on the gun. But she still had the second one.

"Blessing retrieved the second handgun and attempted to point it at the girlfriend, who knocked it from Blessing's possession," according to MCSO.

The girlfriend called 911. When deputies arrived on the scene, they ordered Blessing to come outside but were met with silence. They found her sitting in her reclining chair, her son deceased in a bedroom.

"As the suspect was being escorted from the residence, she made a spontaneous statement to the effect of 'You took my life, so I'm taking yours,'" court documents read. "(It was later determined during an interview with the suspect, she believed her life was being taken as a result of her son ... and his girlfriend ... attempting to place her into an assisted living facility.)"

According to the probable cause for arrest statement, Blessing "intended to kill herself, however she didn't possess any additional firearms."

In speaking with Blessing, investigators learned that she had owned the two guns -- a revolver and a .25 caliber pistol -- since the 1970s. The first she said bought at a gun store; the second was given to her by her husband before he died. She also told deputies the last time she fired either of the weapons was in the '70s.

The suspect stated she stored the two handguns on the floor under a shelf in her bedroom.

When Blessing was asked what she thinks should happen to her, she replied she should be 'put to sleep' as a result of her actions.

"This is definitely an odd one," MCSO Sgt. Bryant Vanegas told Arizona's Family. "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."

[Blessing] made a spontaneous statement to the effect of 'You took my life, so I'm taking yours.'

~ Court documents for Anna Mae Blessing

"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."

According to court documents, there was a history of domestic violence between Blessing and Thomas, including at least one incident in which police responded.

Blessing is still in jail, held on a $500,000 cash bond.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2511182

Reported Deaths: 56008
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33248910839
Queens31448010282
Suffolk2384943593
Nassau2137303286
Bronx2071526748
New York1675934633
Westchester1434342338
Erie1056611940
Richmond886031932
Monroe837081182
Orange57270909
Rockland52918779
Onondaga51624757
Dutchess35451497
Albany30581388
Oneida28418582
Broome24183403
Niagara23854397
Saratoga20080198
Ulster17205278
Schenectady16584227
Rensselaer14669167
Putnam1243996
Chautauqua12308173
Oswego11505112
Chemung10772153
St. Lawrence10392126
Steuben10019173
Ontario9278110
Jefferson870974
Cayuga8600107
Sullivan842083
Wayne807484
Cattaraugus7613113
Genesee6933132
Herkimer6694126
Clinton665438
Tompkins646559
Fulton6244102
Madison6124102
Montgomery5878138
Livingston566871
Warren538682
Cortland529479
Tioga502571
Columbia4977111
Chenango464986
Allegany456296
Washington454667
Otsego453554
Greene435186
Wyoming434458
Orleans428587
Franklin421820
Lewis355638
Delaware352147
Seneca271963
Schoharie227621
Essex226331
Yates160528
Schuyler151817
Hamilton4343
Unassigned14826
Out of NY0310
Utica
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 61°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 57°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 61°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 61°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Chapter Aesthetic October Giveaway
Cool To Be Kind 2021
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve