Richland Hills police say Brent Troy Bartel, 39, wounded his 6-year-old son, then called 911 and calmly told a dispatcher that "I shed some innocent blood."
When the dispatcher asked why, Bartel replied, "It's a holy day."
His mother, in a telephone interview from Portland, Ore., said her son does not have a history of mental illness but has recently been under tremendous stress, mostly because of marital problems.
"Brent is not a demon," Lori Ponce said. "He is loving. He loves that boy. Something happened. Don't paint him as some crazy man. No, that's not him."
Stepfather John Ponce said Bartel had been searching for his spirituality.
"He is deep into the Old Testament," John Ponce said in the same phone interview from Portland. "There's a possibility with all of this pain and marital strife and such, he may have resorted to Old Testament references and then convoluted them."