HARAHAN, La. – Police say a woman fatally shot her ex-boyfriend and said it occurred in self-defense because she and her son had been attacked.
Deborah Zito, 53, told authorities that she shot Milton Schoen, 50, after he attacked her and her 16-year-old son at a home in the 8200 block of Ferrara Drive, police said. Schoen was pronounced dead on the scene with a single gunshot wound to the stomach area.
“Ms. Zito appeared intoxicated and was complaining of pain to her head, neck and arm. She claimed the injuries were sustained as a result of being physically attacked by Milton Schoen,”
said a statement from the JPSO. Zito was taken to Ochsner Hospital for treatment.
Zito’s son told authorities he had seen Schoen physically abuse his mother several times in the past. About 15 minutes before the shooting, the son said he came home with a friend and Schoen was standing outside his mother’s bedroom, according to the JPSO. Schoen went into the bedroom and the two boys went into the living room.
“Approximately ten minutes later he heard a gunshot and seconds thereafter he heard his mother call out ‘Son, get in here.’ He immediately ran to the room where he observed Schoen standing at the foot of the bed and his mother was seated on the bed pointing a black handgun at him,” said a statement from the JPSO. The friend who came home with Zito’s son told a detective “Schoen looked angry and his mother appeared frightened. At that point Schoen responded by shoving Daniel in the chest with both hands causing him to fall back and hit the wall. Deborah Zito fired one shot at which time Schoen fell to the ground.”
According to the JPSO, Zito has filed reports regarding violence against her by Milton Schoen in January, May and August of 2012. All are domestic battery related incidents. While Zito has no prior criminal history, Schoen has a prior criminal history with arrests for aggravated battery, simple battery, illegal carrying of weapons, theft, possession of marijuana, possession of hydrocodone, driving while intoxicated, disturbing the peace, simple criminal damage, flight from an officer, possession of methaqualone, and possession of chlorazepate.
This shooting is being classified as a homicide, and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’ Office will be consulted.