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10 Year Old Shoots Self During Robbery Attempt

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By Jason Beahm on August 20, 2010 10:08 AM

A Seattle bus driver heard an argument and someone yelling to open the back door of the bus. Moments later, he heard a young boy say he was hurt. But it turns out that the young boy, only 10, was the instigator of the event. The shooting on Tuesday was the second in two days at the same intersection. On Monday, a man fired a gun and nicked a teenager's back, Seattle police report.

The incident involving the 10 year-old Seattle boy who was shot on a bus turned out to be more twisted than originally thought. According to Seattle police, the boy accidently shot himself with his own gun and was the aggressor in a robbery attempt.

The boy allegedly attempted to rob a 17 year-old boy, who had been surrounded by a group of boys ranging between 10 and 15 years old. The 10 year-old allegedly told the 17 year-old to empty his pockets. As the 10 year-old reached into his backpack, the older boy feared that he was reaching for a gun and grabbed him in a bear hug and a struggle ensued. A .22-caliber pistol discharged in the backpack, wounding the 10 year old, who was originally taken to Virginia Mason Medical Center before being transferred and treated at Harborview Medical Center, The Seattle Times reports.

The older boy, who was subject to the robbery attempt, then ran off with the backpack and was assaulted by the other boys after getting off the bus. According to police, the 10 year-old will face robbery and weapons charges. Police have not indicated whether anyone involved in the incident has a prior criminal record. The Seattle Times writes that police have not confirmed that the 10 year-old and 17 year-old are related, as some have reported.

Robbery is theft or larceny of property or money through the use of physical force or fear against a victim. Prosecuting a 10 year-old will certainly be challenging. In the U.S., states are free to set their own minimum ages for prosecution, which range between 6-12, although not all states have chosen to do so. The minimum age for federal crimes is 10.

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