For one Florida mother, her special day turned out to be the most tragic of her life.
On Mother's Day weekend, 28-year-old Nicholas Middendorf decided to take his mother out for drinks to a nearby bar. The duo, along with another unidentified man, returned to their St. Cloud home later at night, where the woman's younger son, Benjamin Middendorf, 25, was staying. He did not accompany his brother and mother to the bar because he does not drink, according to the affidavit filed by the police.
A few minutes after they had returned, the Middendorf brothers allegedly got into a squabble involving a cheeseburger.
To the mother's complete shock, her younger son Benjamin grabbed his gun and shot his older brother.Transcripts of the 911 call released by the St. Cloud Police Department show that Benjamin confessed his crime to the dispatcher. He could not believe that he had killed his brother in a fit of temper, claiming that he had shot Nicholas by accident.
"I just shot my brother on accident," he can be heard yelling on the 911 call, before adding, "We were in a fight and I grabbed a gun and I shot him. Oh God, I am so sorry."
The disbelieving mother, witness to the tragic episode, can be heard screaming at her son.
"I'm going to kill my son. I hope you go to jail."
Then she can be heard yelling incoherently at the dispatcher to get police and an ambulance, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
"My son just shot my son," she screams. "How dare you, Benjamin!"
When first responders arrived at the scene of the crime, they found Nicholas to be dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest while the suspect was covered in blood. The grieving mother could not believe that such a tragedy had struck her family on the eve of Mother's Day.
The police have charged Benjamin Middendorf with first-degree murder, and he is being held in the Osceola County Jail.Speaking to CNN affiliate Central Florida News, St. Cloud Police Department spokeswoman Denise Roberts summed up the tragedy in few words.
"It is Mother's Day Weekend, and the mom has lost two sons," she said.
While it is still not clear what actually precipitated such an extreme reaction on Benjamin's part, police officers said that the brothers fought over a cheeseburger. But the affidavit obtained by the New York Daily News suggests that the Middendorf brothers were clashing quite often over responsibilities, and Benjamin told the police that his older brother was bullying him.
This is the first incident of its kind to have taken place in the quiet, posh Sixth Street suburb between Michigan and Virginia avenues in St. Cloud. Neighbors who came to know about the incident in the middle of the night could not believe what they had just heard. Forrest Hamilton, a neighbor, told reporters that this is the worst crime he had ever witnessed in the area.
"I think the most that ever happened around here is somebody got a bicycle stolen," he said.
While mothers all over the world were celebrating on the eve of Mother's Day, this Florida mom was witnessing the loss of her sons right in front of her.
For her, Mother's Day will never be the same.
[Image via St. Cloud Police Department]