Boy Shoots His Mother at Point Blank Range—And Puts Our Parenting Conflicts In Perspective


If you’re a parent whose kid has been acting up this week and putting you through knucklehead changes, for some much-needed perspective all you have to do is cast your gaze to Detroit—where a 14-year-old boy killed his mother this week by blasting her repeatedly with a shotgun because she wouldn’t let him go out.

As I read the story of Tamiko Robinson, the 36-year-old mother who lost her life at the hands of her child, I felt like it had to be a fictionalized account of a child monster written for Lifetime Television. This kid was just too horrible to be real: smoking weed, popping pills, hanging out with gang members, skipping school, refusing to help his mom—who suffered from lupus and had to get dialysis three times a week.

On the fateful day, Robinson had tracked the boy down and forced him to return home after he had run away. So he allegedly broke into a locked room where he knew he would find a 12-gauge shotgun and a box of shells—kept in the house for protection. Shortly after midnight he found his mother sleeping on a couch, according to published reports, and he shot her 10 to 12 times at point blank range. While the boy was allegedly killing his mother, Robinson’s fiancée escaped out a window with the couple’s five-year-old daughter.

A child killing his mother at point blank range? This is the kind of story that makes pretty much any of our everyday parenting conflicts pale in comparison. The kind of story that makes you want to hug your child and tell him it’s going to be okay. Yes, his D on the report card, or her repeated failure to clean her room, or even his suspension from school, are all infuriating as hell. Your blood is still raging. But it could be worse. Tamiko Robinson could tell you how much worse. But she can’t.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. I am at a loss for words on this one. Shocking.

  2. Wow. What the hell kind of world do we live in…

  3. Wow-ow *Flavor Flav voice* So many questions. Why this kid had so much rage that it could manifest itself to this point? And now the one person who would have defended him to the very end is gone as a result of his actions. Sad on so many levels. So very sad.

  4. That put my daughter’s C in Chemistry and tore up bedroom waaaaaay in perspective. Thank you.

  5. I literally cried when i heard about this yesterday. Theres is so much to be learned and taught through this story. I am forever grateful for my mom getting on my behind about the right type of friends. In this case, he clearly had some mental health issues that were never addressed and probably won’t be :0(. He’ll be tried as an adult and thrown into jail and they will never look back, man I know that I am hard on my kids but please Lord don’t let them hate me this much.

  6. WOW! The amount of rage and hatred it took for this boy to kill his mother is beyond words. I know I can be hard on my kids but I hope not hard enough for them to consider this. It is sad to say but it seems that he thought hanging out with the people he was would make him a man and in that thought thinking he could act like a man… Sorry to say he is now going to be treated like a “man”, tried by a panel of people older than him and sentenced to be behind bars for the rest of his life…

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