Karaoke Shooting Pits Angry Dad Against Singing Son

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on July 19, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A karaoke shooting trial in California could soon clear up confusion over what led a man to open fire on his own son.

William Oller Sr., 70, allegedly shot and injured William Oller Jr., 50, at the younger Oller's home in rural Shingletown, Calif. An argument over the son's country music karaoke singing allegedly sparked Oller Sr. to pull the trigger, the local Record Searchlight newspaper reports.

But there are parts to the shooting that remain a mystery.

First and foremost, it's not clear what country music song inspired William Oller Sr.'s alleged karaoke shooting. Oller Jr. declined to discuss the song with The Record Searchlight, while Oller Sr.'s defense lawyer told the paper, "Maybe it will come out in trial."

It's also not clear what Oller Jr. did, said, or sang that allegedly got his father so angry. But the elder Oller allegedly told his son, "I'm going to shut you up," a sheriff's report states.

After that remark, Oller Sr. retrieved a semi-automatic pistol from his pickup truck and pointed it at his son. A struggle over the weapon ensued, and Oller Jr. was shot in the arm. Oller Sr. was shot in the leg.

"The victim could have easily died," the prosecutor said, according to The Record Searchlight. If convicted of attempted murder and assault, Oller Sr. could face up to life in prison.

While assault requires a victim to fear an imminent attack, attempted murder requires an intent to commit a murder. Oller Sr.'s lawyer argues there was no such intent, and suggested his client may claim self-defense.

Whatever happened, William Oller Sr.'s legal battle won't be over until the judge in his karaoke shooting case sings. Oller Sr. is due back in court at the end of the month to set a trial date.

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