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By Steve Birr

A father admitted to shooting his son after catching him using heroin, saying he lost control after frustrations over the kid’s addiction boiled over.

The man claims the bizarre incident was an accident. Richard Matte allegedly walked in on his 27-year-old son Zak shooting up with the substance and said he snapped, due to his son’s chronic use. He then claims he took out the gun to shoot at the wall near Zak in a desperate attempt to scare him, but missed, instead hitting his son. A frantic Matte called police, bluntly telling them, “I shot my son in the arm on accident,” reports WISN.

Matte attributed the incident to the pressures and frustrations of living with a heroin addict. He said the sight of his son injecting over and over again sent him over the edge.

“It’s a horrendous experience,” Anthony Cotton, attorney for Matte, told WISN. “It’s something that puts tremendous stress on relationships and marriages in a family. And i have no doubt that was happening here in this case.”

Police from Greenfield, Wisconsin responded and arrested Matte, who will stand trial later this month, facing up to 17 years in prison over the incident. Zak Matte is recovering from the gunshot wound, which hit his elbow going all the way to his shoulder.

Opioids claimed a record number of lives in Wisconsin last year, and authorities are struggling to combat the rising overdose rate linked to an influx of fentanyl.

Heroin overdoses killed 281 people in Wisconsin in 2015, accounting for more deaths than car accidents and tripling the number of fatalities attributed to heroin in 2010. Between 2010 and 2015, one in every 1,000 residents of Wisconsin was hospitalized for a heroin or opioid drug overdose.

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