SEATTLE -- Amina Bowman, the 8-year-old girl shot while in her Bremerton classroom last month, is showing encouraging signs of improvement while she's hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center.
Bowman was shot in the stomach and suffered life-threatening injuries in Feb. 22 incident; the bullet from the .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol remains lodged near her spine. She was taken off a breathing machine last week.
Tuesday, her father, John Bowman, allowed cameras inside the hospital room, giving an update on Amina's condition. He said she's no longer constantly medically sedated.
"She's up for a couple hours at a time, watching TV or talking with her mom," said John.
John said his daughter continues to make incredible progress. During her three weeks in the hospital, she's had five surgeries. During that time, doctors removed her gallbladder, and discovered a hole in her small intestine and a major vein was ruptured. She must now use a feeding tube instead of eating and drinking on her own.
"We cherish every day we have with her," he said.
Amina has not yet asked what happened to her, and John said he has not told her she was shot.
Amina's 9th birthday is on Monday, March 19.
More charges filed related to classmate's parents
Prosecutors in Kitsap County have added an assault charge against the mother of a Bremerton boy who brought the gun to school last month that accidentally fired and gravely injured Bowman.
The new charges, filed against the boy's mother, Jamie Lee Chaffin, and the mother's boyfriend, Douglas L. Bauer, are for assault in the third degree.
The charging documents accuse both Chaffin and Bauer of being criminally negligent for Bowman's injuries because they allowed the firearm to come into the possession of Chaffin's 9-year-old son.
Chaffin already faced charges for unlawful possession of firearms; as a convicted felon, she was prohibited from owing firearms.
Bauer also faced a charge for unlawful possession of a firearm in the 2nd degree for allowing the firearm to to come into the boy's possession.