Girl, 7, Shot By Boy, 8, at Day Care in Montgomery

Washington Post, Jan. 25, 2006

An 8-year-old boy who shot a 7-year-old girl in the arm yesterday with a handgun he sneaked into a Germantown day-care center in his backpack told classmates last Friday after a fight that he had easy access to guns, two law enforcement officials said.

The boy, a third-grader at Cedar Grove Elementary, had been suspended in the past for bringing a toy weapon to school, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the case is open.

He was armed yesterday with a .38-caliber Taurus revolver that belonged to his father, a felon with a lengthy record, police said.

The law enforcement sources said they do not believe that the shooting victim, a second-grader at S. Christa McAuliffe Elementary, was involved in Friday’s fight. It was unclear what the boy had planned to do with his father’s gun, they said. But whatever his plans, they were cut short around sunrise as six children supervised by a female teacher were huddled around a television set watching Peter Pan at the day-care center.

The sources said the boy threatened to rob the girl and then fired the gun once, striking her in the upper right arm.

The boy’s father, John Linwood Hall, 56, was arrested and charged with leaving a firearm within reach of an unsupervised minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of a firearm by a felon. His son was charged as a juvenile with numerous counts that police declined to outline yesterday. The boy was placed in the custody of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, which provides counseling and treatment to delinquent juveniles.

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Minutes before 7 a.m., police received the call about the shooting at For Kids We Care Inc., which rents a unit at the Northlake apartments in the 12600 block of Grey Eagle Court. For Kids We Care cares for children before the regular school day begins.

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Hall’s criminal history dates to at least 1968 in Baltimore, according to a list of 17 offenses outlined in the police document prepared yesterday. The list says he has been charged with assault with the intent to commit murder, battery, intimidating a witness, assault with the intent to maim and a handgun violation, among other offenses. It did not say how many charges had led to convictions.

Hall was being held on $750,000 bond.

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