A father is dead and his 15-year-old son is in custody today after a heartbreaking bout of domestic violence in a Florida home. Cops say Christopher Albano came home drunk after celebrating the new year and hit his wife, so the couple's teenage son decided to defend his mother ... by shooting his father.
The 34-year-old father of three was found dead at the scene. The 15-year-old was taken into custody by police.
So far, no charges have been filed against the teenager, but a man is dead, and that can't be ignored, regardless of the alleged assailant's age or good intentions.
Because it does sound like the boy had good intentions, albeit misguided ones that ended in tragedy. He wanted to protect his mother. Can you fault a kid for that?
Kids don't have to be the physical victims of domestic violence going on in their household for it to affect them. Just watching mom get beat on over and over and over again can have a devastating effect on a child. It can make a child feel helpless to change their situation. Researchers have also found kids who live with domestic violence have higher levels of anger and hostility than their peers and are more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors themselves.
Put all those feelings together, and you're creating a powder keg. A drunken father beating on mom when there was a gun available may have just been the spark that set it off.
I don't believe that violence should ever be the answer to anything. It would be a much nicer world if people answered slights with words rather than blows -- or guns. But I can't help but hope that the police delve deeply into this family's past before considering what to do with this boy. I hope they go at least a little easy on him.
How about you? What kind of punishment do you think fits this "crime"?
Image via Tetra Images/Corbis