Clinton man charged in connection with shooting, killing 16-year-old grandson

Thomas Ribby, 70, of Clinton, Missouri, is charged in connection with a shooting that killed...
Thomas Ribby, 70, of Clinton, Missouri, is charged in connection with a shooting that killed his 16-year-old grandson.(Henry County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 11:34 AM CDT
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CLINTON, Mo. (KCTV) - A 70-year-old Clinton man is charged in the death of his 16-year-old grandson, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Thomas Ribby with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child resulting in death. He is also charged with resisting arrest.

According to the probable cause statement, Clinton police officers responded to an apartment building in the 400 block of North Price Lane around 11:30 p.m. Sunday. When officers arrived they found the 16-year-old suffering lying facedown on the sidewalk in a pool of blood. They determined the teenager was suffering from a gunshot injury to the chest. The 16-year-old later died from the injuries at the hospital.

As police arrived, Ribby walked back into an apartment and locked the door. Officers later entered the apartment and arrested Ribby. Clinton detectives searched the apartment and found a Glock handgun tucked in a bookshelf, according to the probable cause statement. They also found a spent .45 caliber shell casing on the sidewalk outside of the apartment.

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A witness later told police she was in bed inside the apartment Sunday night when she heard a bang. She said the injured teenager walked into the bedroom clutching his chest and said “papa shot me,” according to the probable cause statement. Police reviewed the 911 call from the incident. When the witness asked who shot him, the teenager can be heard in the background saying “grandpa, accidentally” on the call.

Another witness told police she poured Ribby some whiskey earlier in the evening, before the shooting happened.

Ribby provided his own account of what happened to police, according to court documents.

During a police interview, Ribby said he gave the gun to his grandson to play with Sunday evening, but it wasn’t loaded at that time. Ribby said he took the firearm away from teenager and placed a loaded magazine in the gun before putting it in the case next to his bed, according to the probable cause statement. Ribby said the teenager removed the pistol from the case and took it out front with him at some point.

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Ribby said at some point he walked outside of the apartment. He took the magazine out of the gun, pointed it at his grandson, and pulled the trigger. The teenager was shot in the back. Ribby told investigators he didn’t think the gun was loaded when he pulled the trigger, according to court documents.

If convicted of the crimes, Ribby faces up to life in prison.