TEEN ARRESTED, CHARGED IN SHOOTING OF PARENTS, ATTORNEY SAYS HE WILL SEEK PSYCHIATRIC EXAMINATION FOR BOY — (The Journal Star)

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 The Journal Star (Peoria, IL)

August 25, 1999

Author: KARIN MILLER

BEDFORD, Tenn. — A 15-year-old boy killed his father with a rifle Tuesday, then shot and wounded his mother when he fired at the bathroom door she was hiding behind, police said.

Matthew Hardrick was captured shortly after the shooting when he crashed his family’s car about 25 miles from home.   “He was crying and banging his head against the side of the window” of the police car following his arrest, Columbia police Lt. James Hanvy said.

Police did not say if they knew of a possible motive. The boy was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. He was taken to a juvenile facility after a detention hearing Tuesday evening.

A hearing was set for Sept. 9 to decide whether he’ll be transferred to adult court, but his attorney Robert Marlow said he likely will seek a psychiatric examination for the boy, who was under a psychiatrist’s care and taking medication for depression.

Officers learned of the shooting when the boy’s mother, Eleanor Hardrick, waved over a motorist outside her home. She was bleeding from a bullet wound to the leg and had gashes on her head.

Police arrived to find the body of James Hardrick, 59, in the living room. He was lying on a couch when he had been shot in the head with a rifle.    Eleanor Hardrick said her son shot her husband. She was outside waiting to drive Matthew to school, ran inside and tried to call 911 but was attacked by her son, police said.

She said she ran into a bathroom and locked the door, but her son shot off the knob, wounding her, Bedford County Sheriff Clay Parker said. Matthew entered the bathroom and his mother tried to wrestle the gun away before fleeing, apparently through a window, Parker said. He followed her outside and beat her and took off in the car, he said.

Matthew Hardrick, a sophomore at Shelbyville Central High School, has a juvenile arrest record but police refused to give details other than to say one charge was for spitting on a teacher’s car.

Eleanor Hardrick, 53, was in fair condition at a hospital.

Bedford is 45 miles south of Nashville.