A father from Florida was forced to make an absolutely heartbreaking decision on Sunday when he shot and killed his older son in an effort to prevent him from hurting his younger son during a dispute over a game of pool, Martin County Sheriff’s Office said. ⠀
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Cops were called to the Stuart home a little before 6 a.m. when Marie Maloney said her older son was acting “irrational,” Sheriff William Snyder reported about the incident in a news conference. A few minutes later, the woman called again to say that her husband shot her son.
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“I don’t know if there is a way I could accurately describe the look on his face,” Snyder said of father, John Maloney. “I am not sure what the dad could have done.”
Witnesses say that 30-year-old Joseph Maloney was acting “irrational” for about eight hours that day. Detectives confirm that Joseph and his 26-year-old brother James had been drinking alcohol all night prior to the fight. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“The physical altercation began over a game of pool then escalated into the violent attack of one brother on another,” Snyder said. Maloney told police he “verbally intervened” at first, while triying to get Joseph off of James–but he could not, which caused him to attempt the physical route. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“At one point the parents heard their younger son pleading for his brother to stop choking him because he could not breathe,” Snyder recalled. “His brother continued to strangle his sibling with one arm while holding a knife over him with his other hand.”
Once it was obvious that the family was unable to stop Joseph, Maloney ended up firing his gun and shooting Joseph several times, according to Snyder. Joseph died inside the home and the house showed consistent signs of a struggle, including broken pool sticks and an open butterfly knife.
“Based on the circumstances that we think we have now…he would be justified in using deadly force,” Snyder explained. “What you actually have is self-defense for someone else.”
John Maloney has not been charged in the shooting.
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