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10-Year-Old Boy Shoots Self During Metro Robbery Attempt

The Seattle Times via YellowBrix

August 19, 2010

SEATTLE – 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.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, a bus driver at Rainier Avenue South and South Henderson Street heard a commotion and someone yelling to open the back door. Then he heard the boy say he was hurt, said Metro spokeswoman Linda Thielke.

The boy was taken to Virginia Mason Medical Center with a wound not considered life-threatening. He was later transferred to Harborview.

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.

Lorraine Allen said police called her and said the victim and his cousin, her 17-year-old son, were with other boys and had gotten into a fight after getting off the bus near the intersection.

She said, “I was told [the gun] was in a backpack … and it went off.”

Her son was at the scene but declined to talk to a reporter.

Police would not say whether any of the boys involved in the incident had criminal histories. They also could not confirm that the 10-year-old and 17-year-old were related.

Tuesday’s shooting was the second in two days at the intersection. Monday night, a man in his 20s fired shots and grazed a male teenager’s back, according to police.

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