A sobbing 9-year-old boy in an orange jail jumpsuit appeared at a Washington state hearing yesterday concerning the shooting of his third-grade classmate. A loaded .45-caliber handgun the boy brought to school apparently accidentally discharged when he slammed his backpack onto a desk, according to cops. A bullet was fired into the stomach of an 8-year-old girl, who is still in critical condition. "I just want everyone to know that my kid made a mistake. It was a bad mistake," the boy's father, Jason Cochran, said outside the courthouse. An uncle called the student "a good kid. I apologize to the family of that girl. I really do."
The uncle is the boy's legal guardian. Both parents have criminal records, and the student apparently obtained the gun from his mother's home during a visit. Bail was set at $50,000, and the boy returned home last night, reports the Seattle Times. A judge will determine whether he'll ultimately face trial on charges including third-degree assault. Under Washington state law, children between the ages of 8 and 12 can face charges if a court determines a child has the capacity to understand an act is wrong. A capacity hearing will be held in two weeks. (Read more Bremerton stories.)