No charges filed yet in patricide case involving a son protecting his mother

ANTIOCH, Fla. - No charges have yet been filed in a case of a son killing his father in the midst of an alleged domestic violence situation over the weekend.

Hillsborough Sheriff's detectives trying to sort through the case of patricide as the family tries to cope.

This is one of those stories that is so raw and sensitive, that few people are willing to talk to us on the record.
It's the sort of thing that abuse investigators tell us is commonplace when families fracture.
 
But it still leaves us with a lot more questions than answers.  

Just like over the weekend, we were not welcomed down the end of Burnt Barn Road on Monday, the scene of what can't be described as simply a domestic dispute gone terribly wrong. 

Christopher Thorpe, 36, was fighting with his 35-year-old wife, Jill, in front of their 17-year-old son Channing.

"Channing armed himself with a handgun and fired several shots, striking his father, and his mother in the leg," said Sheriff's Spokesperson Debbie Carter.  "The father was deceased at the scene."

"You hate to wake up and hear about things like that, much less in your own neighborhood," said neighbor Hugh Williamson.

Folks who lived nearby the Thorpe family home tried in vain to make some sense of this.  So too did Mindy Murphy, whose work at the Spring of Tampa puts her in the midst of many such situations.

"Every time a death occurs in our community due to domestic violence, you know it just hits you in the gut," said the CEO of the Spring.

Especially when you consider that a full 14 domestic violence shelters like The Spring are poised to assist those being battered.

"And every single one of these shelters is committed to providing services to try and help intervene and change those violent homes into peaceful ones.  But some people don't avail themselves of the services," said Murphy.  "Some people, despite our best efforts, don't know that there is support for them."

It should be noted that there were no calls for service to this address for anything remotely resembling a domestic situation, dating back as far as Sheriff's officers have been able to look.  And while psychological experts tell me that patricide can often stem from long-standing abuse scenarios, they were not willing to address this case specifically.

Neither was Mindy, although she did admit her heart is heavy:

"We want to stop violence before it gets that bad," she said.

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