Charges: 90-year-old reportedly shot son over TV dispute

Published 9:28 am Tuesday, September 15, 2015

By Nicole Norfleet

Minneapolis Star Tribune

A 90-year-old man was charged Monday with second-degree murder after he told police he shot and killed his oldest son over the weekend after the two argued over watching television at their Maplewood home.

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Kenneth H. Bowser was charged in Ramsey County District Court with the death of Larry Bowser, who had lived with his father for at least the past decade. Larry Bowser, 65, had told neighbors that his father had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that his condition was getting worse.

“When I first heard the age of the suspect, I was stunned,” Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said Monday. “As we look at that aging population … how do we protect them and how do we protect their families?”

Although police were called to the Bowser home several times in the past to provide medical assistance and check on the elder Bowser’s welfare, there was no police record of conflict between the father and son, Schnell said.

The chief described Kenneth Bowser as “pretty frail.”

According to the criminal complaint:

Police were called to the home in the 1200 block of Hilltop Court before 8 p.m. Saturday by Kenneth Bowser, who said he shot his son.

Officers arrested Bowser without incident. His son, shot once in his back, died at the scene. Police found a revolver in the home.

As officers sat with Kenneth Bowser after the shooting, he muttered several “spontaneous” statements. Among them: “He want to call me a bunch of names all week” and “If it hadn’t been me it would have been him, it would be me or him,” the complaint said.

Kenneth Bowser also told police he’d heard a story on TV about a son killing his father by setting him on fire; he was concerned the same could happen to him. He said his son also complained about caring for him.