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Nine-Year-old Boy Charged in Washington Elementary School Shooting

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By Stacey Eldridge, Christian Post Contributor
February 24, 2012|10:50 am

A nine-year-old boy accused of taking a gun to his Washington state elementary school, and accidentally shooting his classmate was charged Thursday with third-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and bringing a weapon on to school grounds.

The boy sat before a juvenile court judge sobbing and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, as his father stood behind him rubbing his back.

The boy, who has not been identified took the gun to his school outside Seattle, in his backpack on Wednesday. The gun went off when he slammed his bag on the desk, hitting his 8-year-old classmate Amina Bowman in the arm and the stomach.

Bowman underwent surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, suffering from multiple complicated organ injuries, and remains in critical condition. Doctors said that while the young girl's condition has improved, she still faces more surgery.

According to court document the boy, took his father's .45-caliber gun from his mother's house during a visit last weekend. He reportedly told his classmates he planned to run away soon and needed a gun to protect himself.

Bail was set at $50,000, which his family raised, and he was released Thursday evening, The Seattle Times reported.

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"He made a bad mistake," Jason Cochrane said outside court. "I'm sorry to everybody. I apologize. This is way out of character."

His teacher, Natalie Poss, told KING-TV on Thursday that the shooting was "a teacher's worst nightmare." She reported hearing a loud bang, and then seeing the girl slump.

She said that she knows this shooting was not intentional. "He has a lot of good in his heart," the boy's teacher said. "I know he didn't intend this to happen. And I know he's hurting tonight."

A hearing will take place on March 7, to determine if the boy is capable of understanding proceedings. If found guilty he could face 30 days in juvenile detention, 12 months on juvenile probation and 150 hours of community service.

 

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