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92-Year-Old Woman Shoots Son Over Nursing Home Dispute

92-year-old Anna Mae Blessing shot and killed her 72-year-old son who wanted to put her in an assisted living facility in Fountain Hills, Arizona last week. A subsequent search of Blessing's home turned up thirteen firearms. The elderly woman faces one charge each of first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and kidnapping.

Blessing had been living with her son, Thomas Blessing, and his girlfriend in the girlfriend's condo for the past six months. According to statements made by Blessing and Thomas' girlfriend, Blessing had known for several days of her son's intentions to place her in an assisted living facility. Blessing had hidden two firearms from the home in the pockets of her robe, and confronted her son in his bedroom.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Blessing shot her son twice before turning the gun on the girlfriend. A struggle ensued, in which Blessing lost her grip on the gun. When she attempted to retrieve the second gun she had hidden, the girlfriend knocked the gun from her grasp and called 911. After authorities arrived, Blessing was found sitting in a chair and her son dead in the bedroom. As Blessing was taken from the residence, she made a spotaneous utterance that authorities took to mean the shooting was in retaliation for her placement in a nursing home.

According to investigators, Blessing intended to kill herself but had no additional firearms to use. Blessing has owned both guns since the 1970s - one was bought at a gun store, the second was a gift from her now-deceased husband. She stored the two handguns on the floor under a shelf in her bedroom. 

Authorities later found thirteen guns in total stored in the home, including the two that belonged to Blessing. None of the weapons were secured in a safe or cabinet. Deputies had been called to the Blessings' home several times since Blessing moved in with her son, including calls related to disputes between Blessing and Thomas. Both had previously expressed concerns to authorities that the other could become violent. 

Blessing is being held in a jail infirmary due to her old age. She's being held on a cash-only bond of $500,000. Blessing told authorities after her arrest that she should be "put to sleep" as a result of her actions. 

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