A 9-year-old boy in Bremerton, Wash. wrote a letter apologizing to a classmate who was seriously wounded after a gun discharged from his backpack, lodging a bullet in her spine.
The handwritten letter, which was written as part of a court ordered mandate, was addressed to Amina Bowman, 8, who was released from the hospital on Tuesday. The boy’s name has not been made public.
"I'm sorry I hurt you because I brought a gun to school. I did not mean for any one to get hurt," the boy wrote. "I wish everyone was okay. I made a bad choice."
The letter was written as a requirement of the boy’s sentencing when he pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges stemming from the shooting, which police say was an accident. The Seattle Times reports the letter was written as the boy went through counseling, another sentencing requirement the boy must go through.
Six weeks after being airlifted to Harborview Medical Center, small milestones mark Amina's recovery.
A taste of soup, those first steps, and a brownie milk shake after being discharged from the hospital are all progress that her mother posts on her Facebook page.
"What a great day!!!" Teri Bowman wrote under a picture of her smiling daughter before she came home from the hospital.
On Feb. 22. Amina was shot during class at Armin Jahr Elementary School in Bremerton.
"I made a bad choice. I was sad, scared and afraid and I did not solve my problem well," the boy told her in his letter. "I will stay away from guns."
The school was put into immediate lockdown after the incident.
MaryLou Tucker, a parent of a student at the school, said the teacher in Amina's classroom did everything she could. "She had the kids sit, get underneath their desks and then made sure that the kids were accounted for," Tucker said.
The boy's prosecution will be deferred. His mother, Jamie Lee Chaffin, and her boyfriend, Douglas L. Bauer, pleaded not guilty to third-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to ABC affiliate KOMO.
Amina's parents said she'll likely return to school in the fall.