Warrant Issued for Mom in WA School Shooting
SEATTLE (AP) — Saying that she left firearms unsecured around her house, authorities issued an arrest warrant Monday for the mother of the 9-year-old Washington boy who is accused of bringing to school a gun that accidentally fired — seriously wounding a third-grade classmate.
Bremerton police Lt. Peter Fisher said the warrants from Kitsap County District Court were for Jamie Lee Passmore and her boyfriend Douglas L. Bauer.
The warrant for Passmore lists two second-degree counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, and the one for Bauer a second-degree count of unlawful possession of a firearm.
On the day the boy brought the gun to school, Fisher said detectives visited Passmore’s residence and saw she had a 9mm pistol “sitting on a desk to the right of a computer” and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun “leaning against the wall next to the nightstand.”
Passmore, who has a criminal record, is not allowed to own guns under state law.
The gun that fired off at the school on Feb. 22 was a .45 caliber handgun. The gun fired after he slammed his backpack down on a desk, charging documents said.
His classmate, eight-year-old Amina Kocer-Bowman, was hit by the bullet in her midsection and arm. She is now in serious condition after five surgeries, said Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg.
Police say that Passmore’s and Bauer’s practice of not securing guns allowed her son to access a gun. Investigators learned that Passmore “reportedly drove a vehicle with a handgun in the glove box and informed a witness not to say anything as she was a felon and it was illegal for her to possess firearms.”
“Her actions in leaving the weapons accessible to children establish her culpability in the unlawful possession of a firearm by her son, which ultimately led to the shooting of an eight year old student at Armin Jahr Elementary School,” police said.
The boy is due in court on Tuesday for another hearing for a “status” hearing, said deputy prosecutor Todd Dowell.
The boy was charged with unlawful possession of a gun, bringing a dangerous weapon to school and third-degree assault. He was released to his father’s family after posting bail.
Under state law, a judge must decide if the boy has the capacity to understand if what he did was wrong in order for the charges to move forward.
Kitsap County prosecutor Russell D. Hauge has said his office will seek probation and treatment for the boy.
Both of the boy’s parents have a lengthy criminal and drug abuse history, court documents show.
His grandmother had adopted him but died about a year ago. His legal guardian now is his uncle, who apologized to the girl’s family after the shooting happened.
— Copyright 2012 The Associated Press