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9-year-old gets probation, must apologize for shooting

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — A 9-year-old boy was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months of probation and ordered to write a letter of apology to a fellow third-grader who was critically wounded when the gun he brought to school discharged as he slammed his bag on a desk.

The boy’s classmate, 8-year-old Amina Kocer-Bowman, remained in serious condition at a Seattle hospital after she was struck Feb. 22 in her midsection and arm.

At a Kitsap County Juvenile Court hearing, the boy was asked whether he wanted to say anything. He replied: “I’m sorry.”

Amina, who has had five surgeries, is on a ventilator to help her breathe. The boy was ordered to have no contact with her, unless it was approved.

The boy pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges that included unlawful possession of a gun and bringing a dangerous weapon to school. Prosecutors dropped third-degree assault charges. In addition to his sentence, he was told to undergo 48 hours of counseling.

The .45-caliber handgun fired in a classroom at a Bremerton school after the boy slammed his backpack on a desk. An arrest warrant was issued Monday for the boy’s mother, who is accused of leaving firearms unsecured around her house.

Court documents show the boy’s parents have a lengthy criminal and drug abuse history. His grandmother had adopted him but died about a year ago. His legal guardian now is his uncle, who has apologized to the girl’s family.

The boy also was ordered not to contact his mother or her boyfriend. Bremerton police Lt. Peter Fisher said the warrant for Jamie Lee Passmore lists two second-degree counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. Her boyfriend, Douglas L. Bauer, is wanted for a second-degree count of unlawful possession of a firearm.