Lord, have mercy:

The 8-year-old boy suspected of fatally shooting his caregiver Thursday afternoon is believed to have been playing a version of the video game “Grand Theft Auto” minutes before he got a gun and fired it into the back of her head.

Detective Don McKey of the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office said investigators cannot say for certain that the video game triggered the boy’s violent action but they are pursuing that line of inquiry.

Experts who have studied violent video games, television shows and movies differ on whether there is a correlation between those media and aggressive behavior in adolescents.

McKey said Marie Smothers, 87, was killed by a single shot from a Colt .38-caliber Detective Special revolver detectives believe belonged to Smothers.

What is an eight-year-old boy doing playing Grand Theft Auto? What is an 87-year-old woman doing in charge of an eight year old boy? This kid will not face charges; he is too young to be charged with anything under Louisiana law. That makes sense, but good Lord…

Now we’ll have a pointless argument in the comboxes about the relationship between violent media and actual violence. Can we all agree that adults who let eight-year-old boys play Grand Theft Auto, and fill their heads with that garbage, are ass-ignorant?

The next version of GTA will be released in September. Here’s a preview from Kotaku:

In this open-world action game, players assume the role of three criminals whose storylines intersect within the fictional city of Los Santos. Players can switch between each character to follow his storyline, completing missions which often include criminal activities (e.g., stealing cars, executing heists, assassinating targets). Players use pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles, and explosives to kill various enemies (e.g., rival gang members); players also have the ability to shoot non-adversary civilians, though this may negatively affect players’ progress as a penalty system triggers a broad police search. Blood-splatter effects occur frequently, and the game contains rare depictions of dismemberment. In one sequence, players are directed to use various instruments and means to extract information from a character; the sequence is intense and prolonged, and it involves some player interaction (i.e., responding to on-screen prompts).

The game includes depictions of sexual material/activity: implied fellatio and masturbation; various sex acts that the player’s character procures from a prostitute—while no nudity is depicted in these sequences, various sexual moaning sounds can be heard. Nudity is present, however, primarily in two settings: a topless lap dance in a strip club and a location that includes male cult members with exposed genitalia in a non-sexual context.

Within the game, TV programs and radio ads contain instances of mature humor: myriad sex jokes; depictions of raw sewage and feces on a worker’s body; a brief instance of necrophilia (no nudity is depicted).

Some sequences within the larger game allow players to use narcotics (e.g., smoking from a bong, lighting a marijuana joint); cocaine use is also depicted. Players’ character can, at various times, consume alcohol and drive while under the influence. The words “f**k,” “c*nt,” and “n**ger” can be heard in the dialogue.

We don’t know which version the eight-year-old was playing, but it wasn’t this one. Kotaku says that Rockstar, the game-maker, is known for pushing the envelope in sex and violence in its Grand Theft Auto series.

An eight-year-old jacked himself up on Grand Theft Auto and blew an 87-year-old woman’s head off. Think about that. The only small mercy here is that she never saw it coming.