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 July 28, 2023

Father allegedly kills his son over $0.25

A heated argument over a mere 25 cents escalated into a tragic incident in Madison, Wisconsin, resulting in a father shooting his son.

In a quiet neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin, a family dispute turned deadly over the weekend. The incident involved a father, John C. Shively, 65, and his 25-year-old son, Zachary S. Shively. The argument, which started over a mere 25 cents, ended in a fatal shooting.

John had given his son his last $2, but Zachary demanded an additional 25 cents. The father, feeling cornered and overwhelmed by the culmination of many bad decisions over time, used Zachary's own gun to end the confrontation. The fatal shot, which hit Zachary's heart and aorta, was fired from a distance of between 6 inches and 3 feet.

John has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide. However, his defense attorney, Jacob Idlas, indicated that self-defense would be a central issue in the case. John's other son, Robert Shively, pleaded for a lesser bail for his father, describing him as a good guy.

From verbal argument to physical aggression

The incident escalated from a verbal argument about money to physical aggression, with Zachary hitting and pushing his father. John had the opportunity to leave through a sliding door but didn't. Instead, he picked up the gun that Zachary had left on a ledge and shot him, hoping that it would make his son back down.

John expressed deep regret for his actions, stating, "I wish I hadn't. I'm pretty sure I only pulled it once." NBC15 reported.

The Madison Police Department (MPD) arrived at the scene around 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday. They found Zachary Shively dead, and John Shively, with blood on his hands and clothes, was at the scene. He had called 911 himself and admitted to the shooting.

John Shively's financial struggles

During an interview with an MPD detective, John Shively claimed that the shooting occurred after his son repeatedly demanded money, which included instances of pushing and punching him. He also mentioned that his son could become violent when he drinks and had been served drinks at a local bar earlier that day.

John Shively also admitted to making poor financial decisions, leading to his credit cards being maxed out.

He claimed to have been writing post-dated checks to his son's friends. A third person living in the home confirmed hearing the argument, which he believed was about money.

Events leading to the shooting

The third person tried to defuse the situation by offering to give Zachary the money he demanded, but the shooting occurred while he was trying to leave. reported that after the shooting, John Shively told him to call 911. The court has set John Shively's bond at $300,000, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 1.

This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of how quickly situations can escalate, and the devastating consequences that can result. It's a story that has shocked the local community and left a family torn apart.

Why this story matters

This story is a tragic example of how family disputes can escalate to violence, and it serves as a stark reminder of the importance of conflict resolution. It's a story that resonates with many because it's about a family, something we all have and can relate to.

The story also highlights the issue of financial stress and how it can strain relationships. John Shively's financial struggles were a significant factor in the argument that led to the shooting, showing how financial issues can lead to desperation and poor decision-making.

Furthermore, the story brings attention to the issue of gun violence and its devastating consequences. The fact that a minor dispute over 25 cents could escalate to a fatal shooting is a sobering reminder of the potential dangers of having firearms in the home.

Finally, the story raises questions about the justice system and how it handles cases like this. With John Shively's defense attorney indicating that self-defense will be a central issue in the case, it will be interesting to see how the court interprets the events and what the final verdict will be.

Lesson to Learn from This Tragedy

  1. Conflict Resolution: It's crucial to learn effective conflict resolution strategies to prevent disagreements from escalating into violence. This includes learning to communicate effectively, understanding others' perspectives, and finding common ground.
  2. Financial Management: Financial stress can lead to desperate actions. It's important to manage finances responsibly and seek help when needed, whether that's from a financial advisor or a trusted family member or friend.
  3. Alcohol and Violence: Alcohol can often exacerbate conflicts and lead to violence. It's important to understand the potential risks and consequences of alcohol consumption, particularly in potentially volatile situations.
  4. Gun Safety: If you choose to keep a firearm in your home, it's essential to understand the responsibilities that come with it. This includes proper storage and handling, as well as understanding the potential risks and consequences of using the firearm.

This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences that can result from a combination of financial stress, alcohol, and access to firearms. It's a lesson in the importance of conflict resolution, financial management, understanding the effects of alcohol, and gun safety.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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