Mother Kills Son, Father Wants Gun Range to Pay

Florida man sues shooting range after ex-wife kills son with rented gun.

ByABC News
April 17, 2009, 4:26 PM

April 18, 2009— -- When police arrived at a Florida shooting range earlier this month, they found the dead body of Mitchell Moore with "a large amount of blood pooling under his head."

His mother, who moments earlier had walked up behind the 20-year-old man and shot him in the back of the head, was found with a self-inflicted bullet wound, slumped against a wall "gargling blood and moaning," according to the police report. She later died.

In security footage taken at the Shoot Straight range in Casselberry, Fla., April 5, the shooter, Marie Moore, 44, is seen walking up behind her son as he steps up to the line to take a shot. She places a pistol to the back of his head and fires once.

Marie Moore, police say, was emotionally disturbed and left behind a series of suicide notes and recordings in which she calls herself the "anti-Christ" and says God and the devil compelled her to kill her son and herself.

Whether or not the owners of Shoot Straight knew Marie Moore was disturbed when they rented her a gun is the crux of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Mitchell Moore's father against the shooting range.

The father, Charles Marvin Moore, believes the company knew his ex-wife, Marie Moore, was mentally ill, that it had previously banned her from the range, and failed to check its records before renting her a gun.

According to the suit filed this week with the Florida circuit court, Shoot Straight II, Inc. "negligently fail[ed] to inspect its records or adequately warn Mitchell Moore" about his mother, whom the company knew was "unreasonably dangerous."

Charles Marvin Moore told police his ex-wife had been banned from the range "after attempting to commit suicide there several years ago," according to the police report.

Police in Casselberry said they knew of no prior incident involving the shooter.

Lawyers for the father are looking for evidence that will prove the company banned Marie from shooting at the range.

"We're looking for a document or witness with firsthand knowledge that the woman had been banned," said attorney Keith Mitnik.