A Kansas City, Mo., mother is now being praised by her neighbors for turning over her son to police after she identified him in a surveillance video among a gang of nine young men who staged a gunpoint robbery of a disabled 85-year-old veteran.
According to a KCTV5 report the gunpoint attack mounted by the gang was the second robbery attack the veteran had faced in three days and the Kansas community is outraged.
In the first incident, which was also caught on video, the veteran was reportedly badly beaten, so when he was attacked by the gang of young men in the most recent incident, he didn't bother putting up a fight as he feared for his life, according to court documents.
The man's surveillance video shows the woman's son, Michael Bray, initiating the attack by approaching the old man's home and knocking on the door. It then shows him pulling a gun at the man, and forcing his way into his home where he is quickly joined by his friends, who allegedly stole a rifle, handgun, thousands of rounds of ammunition and a smartphone.
Bray's mother reportedly took him to the Kansas City Police Department's Center Patrol Station on Friday where she told officers she recognized her son from news footage and had confronted him about it. She told them he admitted his role in the attack.
"I think that's great. Parents by all means should not uphold their children when they know they are wrong," said Shawn Smith, who lives just two doors away from the veteran.
"I know it's a tough decision to make. You're forced with protecting your child or loving your child and doing what's right. But at the end of the day, you have to do what's right, especially when they violate someone else's sense of privacy and security," he added.
On Monday, young Bray was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and two counts of armed criminal action. Court documents say he confessed to the crime after detectives agreed to work out a plea deal for him with prosecutors. He allegedly passed the gun he had in the surveillance video to someone else to avoid apprehension.
A 14-year-old was arrested in addition to Bray and the public is assisting the police in identifying the others.
Smith says he hopes the parents of others involved in the heinous crimes "will do what's right and turn their children in."
"Hats off to her. She is a wonderful lady," he said of Bray's mother, whose family declined interviews in the report. "Great job. I wish we had more parents like that."