A man was hit in the face in an armed home invasion in Braintree, Massachusetts, Tuesday night, according to police, asking for the public's help finding the three men who sped away from the home.
The incident may be related to online gaming or other activity online, according to the Braintree Police Department.
The incident on Bickford Road was reported about 7:40 p.m., when officers found two people who live in the home outside, one with minor injuries to his face, police said. He reported that three men had attacked him when he answered a knock at the door, and he and the other resident said one of the men had a gun in his waistband.
The attackers knew the name of the person who was hit, police said, and they left in a black car. It wasn't immediately clear if anything was taken or what kind of online activity may have motivated the attack.
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The victims' mother said her 17-year-old was punched in the head while her 18-year-old called police, the ordeal lasting no more than five minutes.
"I almost passed out when I heard this. I got a call from my other son to say somebody invaded our house with a gun," she told NBC10 Boston.
"I believe it could be racially-provoked conversation," she added, saying she thinks the online hate has stemmed from her son's broadcasting on Youtube, playing Minecraft.
"I guess he was in a toxic environment, you know, people trash talk each other."
She said this is the third time her home was targeted - a year ago a SWAT team was called to their home, and then a rock thrown through their window a few months ago.
"It could have cost his life," the mother said.
She has pulled the plug on her son's online presence and said they will lay low until police are able to arrest the men and her family is no longer a target.
Police called the incident targeted and isolated, and shared surveillance images taken of people outside the home and the car.
"Anyone who recognizes the suspects or vehicle, or has captured this vehicle on video, please contact the Braintree Police Department. We solve these crimes together; please call Braintree Police Detectives at 781-794-8620 or submit a tip to Tips@Braintreema.gov," police said in a statement.