Little Emma Nowling just wanted to play soccer. But after practice on Thursday, her short life came to a tragic end, shot and killed by a family friend, a man who legally bought a gun in September and had a concealed carry license.
Emma Nowling and her mother, Sharon Watson, were shot after the little girl’s soccer practice session at the Taylor Sportsplex in Michigan. Watson is listed in serious but stable condition, while Nowling died Thursday night after suffering head injuries,MLive.com reports. Authorities describe the suspect, Timothy Nelson Obeshaw, as a family friend who had a concealed carry permit and a legally-purchased gun.
Police say a 9 mm pistol recovered from the shooting scene was registered to Obeshaw.
The man had recently been experiencing paranoia, thought someone was out to get him and believed someone was trying to control him through mind control, Taylor police Chief Mary Sclabassi told MLive.
“He thought someone was out to get him,” the chief told reporters at a Friday press conference. “Unfortunately, it appears as a result of his (instability) we now have a little girl who simply just wanted to go yesterday to play soccer, and never went home.”
Police said the girl’s mother is being treated and was informed her daughter has died.
Obeshaw had attended Nowling’s practice sessions in the past and on Thursday had a pleasant interaction with the child and her mother, but after the practice, had a confrontation at about 8 p.m. Witnesses saw him shoot into the vehicle then turn the gun on himself.
Obeshaw had no known criminal history. He had registered the gun under his own name in September.
“Of course, this is a tragic situation and the thought that maybe if the right person had the right information at the right time could have prevented this, of course it’s very frustrating,” Sclabassi said. “Clearly this was an individual who needed help. Clearly this is an individual who should not have been able to purchase a handgun just this past September.”