NEWS - Monday, September 8, 2003

Grand Theft Auto In Court??

Deadly Inspiration? Teens Say Video Game Inspired Them in Deadly Highway Shooting Sept. 5 — The family of a slain motorist has filed suit against the maker of a video game that two teens claim inspired them to shoot at passing cars on a Tennessee highway. Grand Theft Auto, a video game that allows players to "fire" on people and cars in realistic, shoot-’em-up fashion, is a cash cow that propelled manufacturer Take Two Interactive to the top of the video game industry. For the middle and high school students who play the game for hours on end, it’s a means of escaping the mundaneness of teenage life. But for two stepbrothers, 16-year-old William and 14-year-old Joshua Buckner, that escape turned deadly earlier this summer. They told police they were emulating Grand Theft Auto on the night of June 25 when they took shotguns to Interstate 40, near their Newport, Tenn., home, and opened fire on vehicles. The teenage shooters, who each pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, will be held at a state juvenile detention center until they turn 19. The law in Tennessee allows them to remain in the custody of the state Department of Children’s Services until they are 19, but no longer. In written statements, they expressed remorse for their actions. "I will always hate myself for what I did. I am so sorry," wrote William Buckner. "I didn’t want to hurt anyone," wrote Joshua Buckner. "This will be with me the rest of my life." The Hamel family filed suit Thursday against Take Two Interactive, the video game maker, said attorney Jack Thompson. "The industry needs to cough up money so victims and their families can be compensated for their pain," Thompson said. "The shareholders need to know what their games are doing to kids and their families. They need to stop pushing adult rated products to kids. These products are deadly." Take-Two Interactive declined to comment to Good Morning America about the incident. >Click Here for the full story


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