8-year-old Amina Bowman, of Bremerton, Washington, was shot in the abdomen when a handgun her one of her classmates had brought to school unintentionally discharged. The 9-year-old, third grade boy, who was described as a troubled child who altered the dynamics of an otherwise peaceful classroom, hid the handgun in his backpack. He told classmates that he was going to run away and he needed the gun to protect himself.
The gun discharged from inside the backpack and struck Amina. Police found the .45-caliber Heckler and Koch semi-automatic handgun inside the backpack. The safety was off and the gun was cocked with a round in the chamber.
Amina was taken to the hospital where she underwent surgery. She is in critical condition but is expected to survive.
The boy has been charged with third-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm on school facilities. Police think he likely got the gun while visiting his mother the previous weekend. Washington has no child access prevention laws. There are no laws that require trigger locks for guns or laws that penalize gun owners should a child get hold of a gun and shoot someone. At the moment, no charges are pending against the mother.