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Kentucky Man Shoots His Mother on Mother’s Day Over Gift

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

A Kentucky mother received a surprising Mother’s Day gift which led to an argument and a hospital ride. Twenty-two-year-old Jacob R. Small of Monticello allegedly fired a 22-caliber rifle at his mother, Amber Powell, according to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. Small shot his mother on Mother’s Day after they got into an argument over an Xbox controller that he bought for her. Small was waiting for the deputies at his neighbor’s house while his mother was rushed to the Wayne County Hospital with a gunshot wound according to authorities on Monday. The incident happened on Grayer Ridge Rd. in the Susie Community.

Deputies were alerted to a gunshot victim that was enroute to the hospital at around 8:30 PM on Sunday. At the same time, they received a second call saying the alleged shooter was staying at a neighbor’s residence waiting for law enforcement to come. “I received a call on my cell phone, from a nearby neighbor from where this incident occurred, telling me that the gentleman who shot his mother was at his house, wanting to turn himself in,” Sheriff Catron.

When Deputy Jerry Meadows arrived to speak to the man, Small told him that his mother, Amber Powell, had a verbal dispute over the Xbox controller that he had gifted her for Mother’s Day. While his mother and another woman were leaving the home, Small allegedly fired a 22-caliber rifle into the vehicle and struck his mother with the bullet. Small then led the deputies to the scene where law enforcement could recover his rifle. They said he handed it over willingly. “After he was read his Miranda rights, this is the story he told the deputy. He had given his mother an Xbox controller for Mother’s Day. Later on, they had gotten into an argument about it,” said Sheriff Tim Catron. “He didn’t actually tell the deputy why he did it other than it was over the Xbox controller.”

Powell, Small’s mother, was being treated at the Wayne County Hospital before she had to have to be relocated to the University of Kentucky Hospital. It is unclear what her condition is at the current time, but it is reported that they are non-life-threatening. Small was charged with attempted murder, domestic violence, first degree assault, and second-degree criminal mischief. He is currently being held in the Wayne County detention center. No bond information has been released at this time and it is unclear if Small has an attorney. When asked if Small wanted to talk to reporters he is reported as saying, he will “do the right thing and stay here and serve his time.”

Later on, Small did open up to talking to local reporters. He claims that he still loves his mother and that it was not all about an Xbox controller. He explained that his mother did not accept his gift due to a family rule against exchanging gifts. This is when small claims his stepfather intervened, and things escalated significantly. Small claims that his stepfather became physical with him and choked him. The fight quickly broke up and the tension dissipated but small was simmering and angry because of comments made during the argument about Small’s biological father.


“My dad had taken care of me most of my childhood because my childhood was rough,” Small said. “And he did the best that he could. When they said all that stuff, I guess I just couldn’t keep it in anymore.”  Later Small said he regrets the shooting and hopes a judge will show leniency stating he has trouble with mental illness. He also said that he didn’t intend to hurt his mother just scare her. Small says that he takes antipsychotic medication for bipolar disorder and blames him not taking his medicine that day for shooting his mom.

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