Monday, November 10, 2003

Video game maker seeks dismissal of E.D. Tenn. suit blaming game for causing shootings

In federal court in Greeneville, the makers of the Grand Theft Auto III video game have filed a motion to dismiss claims that it is responsible for the actions of two young men who went out and started shooting cars in Interstate 40, according to this report in the Kingsport paper (registration required). The article explains:

"According to court records, on June 25 two stepbrothers - William Buckner, 16, and Joshua Buckner, 14 - took two .22-caliber rifles from their parents' home in Newport and started shooting at automobiles on Interstate 40.

Court records state that Aaron Hamel, 45, the son of John and Rosemary Hamel, was shot in the head and killed. His passenger, Denise Deneau, suffered injuries. Kimberly Bede, who was traveling in another vehicle, was struck by a bullet and wounded.

The Buckners were arrested and pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated assault and are serving an indefinite term in state custody.

In statements to police, the Buckners allegedly told officers they had gotten the rifles from a locked room in their home and then started shooting at vehicles. The boys allegedly told police they were inspired by Grand Theft Auto III.

On Oct. 20, the Hamels, Bede and Deneau filed suit against Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive, Sony Computer Entertainment America and Wal-Mart.

In that lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that Grand Theft Auto III 'makes extreme violence pleasurable and attractive' and trains players 'to point and shoot firearms and inspires them to do so in an effective manner.'"

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