Monday, October 29, 2012

In Florida, Mentally Ill Son Kills Mom and her Boyfriend

Benjamin K. Bishop

 The Tampa Bay Times reports

Bishop, 18, had a history of mental illness, addiction to bath salts and violence toward his mother, Imari Shibata, 49, a nursing assistant, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Shibata and her boyfriend, Kelley Allen, also 49, a popular swim coach, were so concerned for their safety they removed all the knives from their home before Bishop returned in September from a 10-month stint at a rehab center.

Startled by her son that night, Shibata looked at him and the 12-gauge shotgun he bought through a friend, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Sunday. She asked her son what he was doing. Bishop answered by pulling the trigger. He fired several times, reloaded, then fired again — eight rounds total, killing his mother and her boyfriend, the sheriff said. Then he called 911 and admitted to the crime.

Deputies arrested Bishop on two counts of first-degree murder.

Bishop is unemployed and a diagnosed schizophrenic.

Bishop tried to strangle his mother in July 2011, authorities said Sunday, and probation for that incident prevented him from being able to buy a gun.

On July 26, 2011, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records, Bishop was arrested on charges of obstructing justice by tampering with a witness and domestic battery by strangulation, both felonies. The counts were reduced to a lesser battery charge, the records show, and he pleaded guilty. A judge withheld adjudication and the teen was sentenced this year.

Bishop also had been held four times under the state's Baker Act, Gualtieri said.

A few weeks ago, Bishop told an 18-year-old friend he needed a gun for protection from local gangs. He gave the friend $279 he had made by pawning electronic items, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Is that allowed? Can you buy a gun for a prohibited person as long as it's not a handgun? Can 18-year-olds do that?

He's being charged with 1st Degree Murder which is wrong. He's not mentally sound enough to be guilty of such a thing.  The State of Florida should be charged with felony murder for making gun availability what it is.  That's where this thing went wrong.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. IF we had mandatory checks on private firearms sales, the person who sold the gun could be held liable for selling the firearm - ANY kind of firearm - to someone with convictions for violence and who had been adjudged mentally ill.

    But NOoooooooooooooooo, the gun nuts want this kind of transaction to be nice and legal. They want to dodge any responsibility whatsoever for the bad people who should not have guns and who do violence with these firearms getting these guns from them.

    It would reduce the total number of guns sold, and that would reduce the profits of the gun manufacturers who control the NRA and pro-gun propaganda.

    1. Dog Gone, selling him a gun was already illegal. Why do you imagine that making it illegaler would change anything?

    2. Doggone, private transactions are always used firearms. The gun manufacturers do not profit from used gun sales.

  2. Another example of mentally ill person getting a gun through inadequate controls.