Girl shot at Bremerton elementary school in critical condition


by KING 5 News

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 23 at 8:23 AM

BREMERTON, Wash. - An 8-year-old girl is in critical condition after being shot Wednesday afternoon at Armin Jahr Elementary School in Bremerton, allegedly by another student.

Harborview Medical Center says that the girl, Amina Bowman, has just gotten out of surgery but faces additional surgery.  She was conscious and alert when she arrived.  An Airlift Northwest helicopter flew Bowman to the hospital and she was in surgery just minutes after arriving.

Sources tell KING 5 that Bowman was shot once perhaps in the arm and the bullet continued into her side missing all the vital organs.

Cindy Kocer, Bowman's grandmother, told KING 5 that she was watching TV of the shooting just before learning her granddaughter was involved.

"[Amina] "She will pull through," said Kocer.  "If I can make a plea to all my CFC [Couples for Christ] families, please pray for her. That's all I need. That's all we need."

A teacher working in the office said the shooting happened in a classroom around 1:30 p.m.

Lt. Peter Fisher said another student was taken into custody and a gun was recovered. He would not confirm any information about the suspect, but a Bremerton School District spokesperson said suspect is 9 years old and also in the third grade.

The district spokesperson said it was believed the shooting was an accident, but Lt. Fisher said it was too early in the investigation to speculate.

The school was placed under lockdown. Lt. Fisher said police did a sweep of the school after taking the student into custody, then worked with the district to reunite students and parents.

"I heard a like a gunshot, and I was really scared," said 5th grader Kaytley Clark.

Her mother, Alish Picking, was one of the first parents at the school.  Picking's first inclination that something might be wrong was the sight of police cars flying past her house converging at the school.

"I ran out there, and I knew something was wrong," said Picking.

“There’s been a shooting. They’re on lockdown."

That's what parent Kerri Johnson was told when she learned about the shooting. Her fourth grade son said he heard the shot.

“He’s really scared, but he’s fine,” said Johnson.

Armin Jahr Elementary will reopen Thursday.  The school is named for Armin G. Jahr, who was superintendent when the school was built in 1968.  The school has around 430 students and serves kindergarten through fifth grade students.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.