Thursday there was a shooting at a middle school in Los Angeles. Police initially said they had arrested a suspect (later identified as a 12-year-old girl) but later shifted their language and described the girl as a “person of interest.” That shift, from suspect to person-of-interest, seemed a bit odd at the time but today’s report might help explain it. Apparently, this shooting was an accidental discharge of just one round from inside a backpack. From the LA Times:
Police investigating the shooting of students at Sal Castro Middle School said the small-caliber handgun that was carried into a classroom appears to have fired a single round from inside a backpack…
“The physical evidence seems to support that it was discharged from within the backpack,” LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos said Friday morning…
“We believe the trajectory of that round traveled through a through-and-through wound first and then struck the other victim in the face,” he said.
The girl, who isn’t being identified by name in media reports because of her age, was booked for negligent discharge of a firearm. Police still don’t know where she got the unregistered gun. So far, it seems she is exercising her right not to talk to police:
[LAPD Deputy Chief] Arcos said that the 12-year-old has an attorney and is not talking to investigators. He said investigators would present their case Friday to the district attorney’s office for filing consideration.
“We would love to be able to talk to her more fully in an interview and just get to the intent and motive,” Arcos said. “There’s a lot of things I’m sure are going through her mind right now — she’s only 12 years old. Hopefully we’ll have an opportunity again to talk to her.”
Given gun laws in California, her parents (or someone else) could face additional charges for having an unregistered, unsecured gun. To be clear, I don’t see anyone saying she got this gun from home, but where else does a 12-year-old get a gun?