Police: 10-Year-Old Gunshot Victim Shot Himself During Robbery

Seattle Times, August 18, 2010

The 10-year-old boy who suffered a gunshot wound in the arm Tuesday night aboard a Metro Transit bus in Seattle accidentally shot himself during a robbery, police said.

The boy, who is being treated at Harborview Medical Center, will likely face charges of robbery and a weapons violation when he is released from the hospital, police said.

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According to new details released by police Wednesday, a 17-year-old boy was aboard Metro’s Route 7 bus when he was confronted by a group of juveniles, including the 10-year-old. The 10-year-old ordered the older boy to empty his pockets while the other boys, ages 12, 14 and 15 surrounded the 17-year-old, police said.

The 17-year-old later told police he thought he was going to be robbed.

The older boy said the 10-year-old unzipped a backpack he had been carrying and reached inside. The older boy was afraid the younger boy was reaching for a gun so he grabbed him in a bear hug. During the struggle a gunshot was fired from inside the backpack, wounding the younger boy, police said.

The older boy feared the other boys would reach for the gun so he grabbed the backpack and ran out of the bus, police said. He was assaulted by the other boys after he left the bus, police said.

Police interviewed the 17-year-old and later released him. Police searched the backpack and found a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

However, the 10-year-old’s aunt had said Tuesday that the boy accidentally shot himself when he reached into his cousin’s backpack, which contained a gun.

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