'I made a bad choice': Boy pens apology letter to shooting victim

SEATTLE -- The boy involved in an accidental school shooting that critically injured his classmate has written an apology letter to the victim.

The 9-year-old boy sent a handwritten letter, which was mandated by the court, to Amina Bowman, who was seriously injured in the Feb. 22 shooting at Armin Jahr Elementary School in Bremerton.

"I'm sorry I hurt you because I brought a gun to school. I did not mean for any one to get hurt. I wish no one got hurt," the boy wrote. "I made a bad choice. I was scared and afraid, and I did not solve my problem well."

Amina was critically wounded when a handgun in the boy's backpack accidentally went off, hitting her. She sustained a serious injury to her small intestine and as a result, could not eat or drink for weeks. After five surgeries and several close calls at Harborview Medical Center, she was {A href=""}discharged on Tuesday.

"I will stay away from guns. I should have told a grown-up. I promise to learn better ways to solve my problem," the boy wrote. ({A href=""}Read entire letter)

The boy received a deferred prosecution. His mother, Jamie Lee Chaffin, pleaded not guilty to third-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm in the case. Chaffin's boyfriend, Douglas L. Bauer, pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

Amina has been eating through a feeding tube since the shooting. But last Friday, she was allowed to have few spoonfuls of soup.

"She's still on a liquid diet and still needs to have some feeds through a feeding tube, but we think that will get better in the next few weeks," said her surgeon, Dr. Eileen Bulger on Tuesday.

The .45-caliber bullet is still lodged near Amina's spine. But last week, Amina reached a milestone in her recovery when {A href=""}she took her first steps since the shooting.

Amina will likely return to school in the fall, her parent said.