The mother of a Covington teen shot and killed at a home in Washington Parish last weekend is looking for answers.
“Whoever shot my son in the back of the head with a .22 is still walking around,” Donna Wittner said, “and I am not getting the answers I want.”
Donna Wittner gave her son, 14-year-old Brett Wittner, permission to go to a movie and sleep over at a friend’s house in Covington on Feb. 24.
She said it was not uncommon for her very sociable son, a freshman at Covington High School, to want to go and hang out with friends, particularly those of the female variety.
“Brett was a very sociable person,” she said. “Oh, he gave me a run for my money, but that is because he wanted us to know he was special.”
“He was loved by so many people,” she said. “He had lots and lots of friends.”
Early Feb. 25, Donna Wittner was greeted by a uniformed St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputy at her door, informing her that her son had been shot in the head and was on his way to University Hospital in New Orleans. While en route, Brett went into cardiac arrest and was diverted to St. Tammany Parish Hospital, where he died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
His mother said the bullet was lodged in her son’s temple.
Wittner said she was told her son was driven from the home in Covington, where he had permission to be, to a residence at 17580 Louisiana Highway 439 in Franklinton, which is where the shooting occurred, sometime Friday night.
Donna Wittner said she does not know the owner of that home and she does not know what her son was doing there.
However, she believes he might have met up with a group of friends while at the movies and may have went there with them.
“My son had my permission to sleep over at a friend’s house in Covington. Someone picked him up without my permission and brought him there (to the Franklinton home),” Donna Wittner said.
Wittner said when she arrived at the hospital she was given a number to the Washington Parish Sheriff’s detectives handling the case and asked to call him.
She said it was later that afternoon before she could get him on the phone. By then Brett had died, and Wittner was anxious to get answers.
She requested that the hands of all of the teens present at the home be checked for gun shot residue and for their clothing to be taken as evidence. However, Wittner said she does not think any of that was done.
Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office officials told the Daily News of Bogalusa earlier in the week the case was being investigated as an accidental shooting. However, no one at the sheriff’s office returned phone messages left by St. Tammany News on Friday.
It was released earlier in the week that two teens were in the room at the time of the shooting, but Donna Wittner said more were at the home at the time and should also be questioned.
“I don’t know who collected what (evidence), but everybody’s kid got to go home but mine,” she said. “Nothing I wanted to be done was done. I feel like Washington Parish (Sheriff’s Office) is not doing its job.”
Donna Wittner said there is no way her son committed suicide, and she doubts he would have been able to shot himself, even accidentally in the back of his head.
“This is not a suicide,” she said. “Brett talked several friends out of committing suicide.”
She said the teens who were there that night know the answers, and they are “talking” on an online social media site.
“There are a lot of different stories going around,” Donna Wittner said. “All I want is answers.”
She said her son, whom she adopted when he was 2, was a “mischievous, fun loving boy.”