Sheriff: 16-year-old boy shot, killed father to protect mother from physical abuse

FRESNO, Calif. -- Sheriff's officials in Fresno County, California are investigating after a 16-year-old boy shot and killed his father to protect his mother from physical abuse.

Javier Vera, 54, of Fresno was shot and killed on Saturday night, Oct. 13. Sheriff's officials said around 4:30 p.m., a report came in regarding an injured person at a home on Clinton Avenue near Grantland Avenue in Fresno. Vera was found dead at the scene.

Deputies learned there had been an argument that escalated into a physical fight between husband and wife -- with the husband at one point choking the wife. A short time later, the couple's 16-year-old son fired a gun, striking his father. The boy then called 911. Deputies responded and detained the boy and secured the gun.

Officials said after the 16-year-old boy was interviewed by detectives, it was determined that the shooting happened "to defend his mother's life."

The boy was never arrested, and he was released by sheriff's officials to return home to his mother after he was interviewed. The district attorney is reviewing the case to determine whether any charges are warranted.