A Coatesville father allegedly murdered his infant daughter because he was angry about being insulted by an online video game player, law enforcement officials say.
Zion Isaiah Shockley, 18, who lists his profession as “video gamer” on Facebook, allegedly confessed to Coatesville police that he violently shook his baby daughter, 5-month-old Rosalie Faith Crothers-Shockley, on multiple occasions when he was angry about losing at various video games, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced on Thursday.
“The defendant reported that he was playing ‘Call of Duty’ on his PlayStation and became upset and frustrated after another player told him he was a failure at the game,” according to Shockley's confession during a police interview on Feb. 16. “Angered by the comment … he picked up the victim child and started to toss her in the air. … He then picked up the victim child and shook the victim child … for approximately one minute.”
Shockley, who had sole custody of the baby that weekend, said that he also tossed the baby girl in the air and onto a mattress twice without catching her, went downstairs to get water, and upon his return, realized she had stopped breathing and called 911.
Rosalie was treated at DuPont Hospital for traumatic brain injuries and severe brain bleeding. She was declared brain dead and removed from life support on Feb. 12.
Shockley originally concealed from investigators that he had assaulted his child, but later admitted to the incident, as well as to a prior violent shaking incident that had caused older brain injuries.
“The defendant stated that sometime after Christmas, he was playing a video game on his PlayStation 4 at [the child’s mother’s] residence and he became frustrated with the game because he lost,” investigators reported. “He stated that he then picked up the victim child and shook her (demonstrating a violent back and forth shaking motion on a doll) for approximately 5 minutes.”
These assaults led to the baby’s death, prosecutors said.
“Conducting homicide investigations involving infant children is one of the most demanding cases that officers, detectives and prosecutors face,” Coatesville police chief Jack Laufer said in a statement, adding that prosecutors and police worked together “to make sure that the five-month-old victim in this case had an advocate for her life even after her death.”
Chester County DA Thomas Hogan credited child abuse investigators with using medical techniques to establish the victim’s injuries were intentional, not accidental.
“A baby cannot run away or call for help,” said in a statement. “A five-month-old cannot tell people what is happening to her. A baby is the most vulnerable and innocent victim possible. Now it is our job to do what this baby could not, and deliver justice to the killer.”