Amina Bowman, 9, is expected to make a full recovery after a February 22 gunshot wound left her in critical condition.
The injury occurred at the end of the school day in Bowman's third-grade classroom in Bremerton, Wash., when a loaded gun in the backpack of a 9-year-old classmate went off accidentally, firing into Bowman's stomach. Since then, the girl has undergone five surgeries at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Bowman was released from the hospital on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of her father's return from a 13-month deployment to Iraq. The girl smiled and waved to reporters as her family escorted her home. She is still using a feeding tube, and the bullet remains lodged close to her spine. She is scheduled for several months of ongoing physical therapy, according to MSNBC.
The boy who carried the gun to school has written an apologetic letter to Bowman, as part of the counseling he was sentenced to after the incident.
Dear Amina, reads the letter, 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. I wish you were out of the hospital playing basketball and going back to school. I wish everyone was okay. I made a bad choice. I was sad, scared and afraid and I did not solve my problem well. I will stay away from guns. I should have told a grown-up. I will promise to learn better ways to solve my problems. Again I am sorry Amina.
The Seattle Times reports that the boy is on probation and has been expelled from the Bremerton School District for a full year. Bowman will also stay home as her health improves.
Attorney Jeff Campiche, who represents the Bowman family, is considering a lawsuit. He maintains that the boy's written apology is an insufficient reparation. There is a need for very real financial contributions to offset the huge financial burden placed on the family, he said in an email to the Seattle Times. Not to mention the painful years of rehabilitation and disability that Amina will endure. We believe that the focus of public attention should not stop with the child's apology rather we must look carefully at the failings of the boy's parents and child protective services supervision of the boy...
The boy, who lives with his uncle -- his legal guardian -- along with his father and two sisters, is believed to have taken the .45-caliber gun from his mother's truck during a visit to her home. Before the incident, he had told classmates that his family life was stressful and that he planned to run away.
The boy is now expected to testify against his mother and her boyfriend, who now face charges of assault and unlawful possession of a firearm for their role in the incident. They pleaded not guilty to those charges on March 15, according to the Kitsap Sun.