Recently, a La Plata County man was shot in the chest during a domestic abuse assault. The kicker: his shooter was a relative who was a child. The child’s identity, obviously, has not been released. However, the question that remains to answer is whether the child is a hero or an assailant, and even if he or she is a hero, what kind of psychological damage does it do to a child put into a situation where they are forced to fire on a family member? It’s a scenario that gives Castle Rock family law attorneys nightmares.
According to authorities, 51-year-old Dennis Snodgrass went to his estranged wife’s house in direct violation of a restraining order related to an ongoing divorce, and proceeded to assault the woman. The juvenile relative pointed a gun at Snodgrass, and told him multiple times to stop and leave, before Snodgrass turned on the child and advanced.
This is what resulted in the juvenile finally pulling the trigger.
The case remains under investigation, and all scenario information is alleged at this time, but police and court records show that Snodgrass has a history of arrests and convictions for domestic abuse and violence that date back more than ten years.
Snodgrass survived the shooting and is currently recovering in a La Plata County hospital, but the damage that will continue from this is psychological. No child should ever be put in a situation to shoot a family member. Domestic violence is a real problem in our society, and one that divorce and family law attorneys have to deal with all too often. The biggest victims in this are children, who carry scars a long way. Let’s hope that, assuming the information is correct and the shooting was in self-defense, with time and healing the juvenile in this case can get past the tragedy and bear the psychological scars.