The incident unfolded at the school, located at 800 Dibb St., at approximately 1:30 p.m. Eight-year-old Amina Bowman, who was shot in the stomach, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. She was alert and conscious at the time, and was immediately taken into surgery at the hospital.
"She's at a good spot," said hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg.
"I ask my friends to pray for her," said Cindy Kocer, the injured girl's grandmother. "She'll be 9 in a couple of weeks."
Investigators believe another third grader brought the firearm to school on Wednesday. At the end of the school day, the gun went off while still in the boy's backpack, police said, and a bullet went through the backpack and hit Bowman.
Police recovered the gun and detained the boy, but they now say they believe the shooting was an accident.
The boy was booked into Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Center on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, bringing a weapon to school and assault, according to Bremerton police. It was not known how the boy came to possess the gun.
Kocer described her granddaughter as a quiet and smart girl.
The school was placed under lockdown, and parents who had arrived to pick up their students released for early dismissal got swept up into the frenzy.
"She (the teacher) had the kids get under their desk and make sure kids were accounted for. I was on one side of room, making sure kids were calm," said parent MaryLou Tucker.
The lockdown was lifted at approximately 2 p.m.
Armin Jahr Elementary has about 400 students, said Bremerton Schools spokeswoman Patty Glaser, adding the school will reopen Thursday and three counselors will talk to teachers, students and parents.
"Students will continue to be safe at school," Glaser said.
Police were working with the school district Wednesday afternoon to reunite parents with their children, Fisher said, and investigators were interviewing witnesses, which included students.