PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A single mother fatally shot her severely disabled 7-year-old son and then attempted suicide after years spent caring for her child, authorities and family friends in Oregon said Wednesday.
A relative found Tashina Aleine Jordan, 28, unconscious Monday at the Bend home she shared with her son and mother. Authorities found the boy, named Mason, and pronounced him dead. Notes at the scene indicated Jordan was the shooter, police spokesman Lt. Clint Burleigh told KTVZ-TV.
Jordan remained hospitalized Wednesday and clinging to life after taking a combination of pills, said Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel.
The woman was the primary caretaker of her son, who suffered brain bleeds as an infant and lapsed into a coma before reawakening. He was unable to feed, bathe or dress himself and used a wheelchair, said Dianna Hansen, a close family friend. Mason's father left after his diagnosis and Jordan lived with her mother to make ends meet, said Hansen, the executive director of the Central Oregon Disability Support Network.
Jordan was on the network's board of directors and volunteered as much as she could to help other families with disabled children, Hansen said. She also homeschooled Mason after deciding that public elementary school wasn't right for him and came up with elaborate lesson plans tailored to his abilities, she said.
"She was just an amazing, amazing mother who dedicated her whole life to him. Everything that she could possibly do for him, she did," Hansen said.
Mason had cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus and required multiple surgeries, including two or three so far this year, but always seemed happy, Hansen said.
His mother showed no signs of depression or of feeling overwhelmed, she added.
"None of us saw it coming at all. It's a total shock. It's not something that's uncommon for caregivers to talk about and try to work through and share that they've had thoughts of that, but generally by the time they're talking about it . then they're less likely to do it," said Hansen, who also has a disabled child.
"There was no talk or sign to any of us that were her friends."
KTVZ-TV interviewed Jordan when her son was 4, after viewers raised $4,000 to buy the child a specialized bicycle that he could operate himself.
"I told the doctors to keep going, and shortly after that Mason came out of his coma and was able to have his heart surgery," she told the station in 2016. "I was told that he was never going to walk or do anything, and here we are now."
A GoFundMe page to assist the boy's grandmother with funeral and related expenses has been set up by the Central Oregon Disability Support Network.
Bend is about 160 miles (258 kilometers) southeast of Portland.
Information from: KTVZ-TV, http://www.ktvz.com/