It was a choice no parent would ever dream of having to make, but for one Florida dad, he was faced with losing one of his two sons. And it was completely up to him which one would be.
“A Florida father…shot and killed his older son in order to save his younger child after the brothers got into a violent fight over a game of pool Sunday,” police said.
Authorities first became aware of the tragic event when they received a 9-1-1 call early Sunday from the mother of the two boys.
“Police received a 911 call at 5:47 a.m. from a woman, identified as Marie Maloney, who said her son, Joseph Maloney, 30, was acting irrational and needed to be ‘Baker Acted’ at their Stuart home in The Florida Club, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said in a news conference.
“The mother was referring to the Florida Mental Health Act that allows officials to involuntarily examine a person showing signs of possible mental illness.”
Unfortunately, police did not arrive in time to intervene. It was left to the boys’ father, John Maloney.
According to Fox News, “Before deputies arrived at the home, however, Marie called 911 again. This time, she said her husband, John Maloney, shot Joseph after the 30-year-old got into a violent altercation with his 26-year-old brother, James Maloney."
The siblings had reportedly been drinking when an argument ensued over a billiards game. That is when older brother, Joseph, 30, grabbed younger brother, James, 26, and put him in a choke-hold. But that wasn’t the worst of it: he also held a large knife over James’ head, threatening to kill him.
The father tried to talk Joseph into releasing the boy, but he refused, tightening his grip further. When the younger son began to lose consciousness, John knew he had to act. He fired his revolver, striking Joseph multiple times.
Parents say their deceased son had been stressed out over an upcoming court date for a 2015 DUI. Joseph was facing manslaughter charges after he caused the death of a popular high school football coach when he was driving the wrong way and crashed into Christopher Harrison.
The father, Joseph Maloney, will not face charges related to the death of his son.
"Mr. Maloney believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent the death or great bodily injury to his younger son,” Sheriff Snyder said. He went on to say that John is ‘absolutely shattered’ after shooting his son.
Please join us in praying for this family. They have more than enough pain to deal with this Christmas season.