The mother of a 9-year-old boy who police say set fire to his Illinois home, killing five of his family members, said he’s not a “monster.”
Katie Alwood’s son, Kyle, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder after he allegedly caused the blaze, which killed his siblings, ages 1 and 2, his grandmother, his mom’s fiancé and his 2-year-old cousin. Alwood identified her son as the alleged perpetrator.
The victims were reportedly sleeping when the fire started, and while Alwood was in the home at the time, she was able to escape.
"Everyone is looking at him like he's some kind of monster, but that's not who he is," Alwood told CBS News. "People make mistakes, and that's what this is. Yes, it was a horrible tragedy, but it's still not something to throw his life away over."
Alwood claims her son suffers from ADHD, bipolar disorder and a form of schizophrenia.
She said although she lost her family, she forgives her son.
“I love him, no matter what,” Alwood told the news outlet.
Alwood's sister, Samantha, whose daughter died in the fire, said she wants to see Kyle face the consequences of his alleged actions.
"I think he should go somewhere until he's legal age to go to juvie. Then I think he should go to juvie. And then from juvie to prison. Because at the end of the day, whether he meant to or not, he knew what fire did," Samantha said.
Kyle is reportedly only expected to receive probation despite the murder charges. He is set to appear in court Oct. 21.