"It broke my heart," she said.
She says it may have been a cry for help, and that her son knows better than to put himself in danger.
The mother of five said her family fallen on hard times and are living in a motel.
She says her middle son may have been trying to get money to help his family — as violent and illegal as it might have been.
"I'm pulling us up slowly," she said. "I still would never want him to put himself in danger, or anyone, ever."
She admits, she too has a criminal past.
"My whole purpose with my kids is to never have to go through things that I went through," she said. "I'm not perfect, I'm not a perfect parent."
She's praying her son will not walk down the same path that landed her behind bars. In the aftermath, she says she is still trying to make sense of an absolutely senseless crime her 12-year-old son is accused of committing.
"Why or how — I'm confused, I'm upset with him," she said.
The crime left a 65-year-old victim in its wake and a pre-teen now facing a heinous charge.
"I am his mother and when everyone else turns their back, I'm not. But he is going to get some help. Because he clearly needs it," she said.
There are a lot of unanswered questions, including how he got the gun and who gave him the idea to victimize a woman in such a way.
But the mother says while everything is still being sorted out, she wants to personally thank the good Samaritans who jumped in until police arrived, as they could have — in her words — shot her son.