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BB gun shooting halts Little League game

INDIANOLA — A juvenile shooting a BB gun at his peer on a local ballfield this week further emphasized what law enforcement officials always try to stress — no matter what type of gun is used, whether an air rifle or a semi-automatic, they are all firearms. And shooters can get in serious trouble if they are not used properly.

A 12-year-old boy who was playing in the outfield with his Little League team at the Indianola Ball Field April 26 was shot at several times by a BB gun, according to a Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office report. He was not injured, but did claim to feel the sting of the pellets.

Coaches and several parents apprehended the alleged shooter, a 14-year-old boy, in the nearby woods. The Suquamish Tribal Police responded to the scene first and took the 14-year-old boy into custody before KCSO deputies arrived and took charge.

After investigating, deputies determined the 14-year-old in the woods was the shooter.

The victim said he did not have any injuries and his father said he would not press charges against the other boy. However, KCSO deputies advised the father that the report would be forwarded to the county juvenile prosecuting attorney, who would decide whether to press charges.

“(The victim) said it just made him angry and knew (the suspect) quite well and had been over to his house in the past,” said KCSO Public Information Officer Deputy Scott Wilson.

After completing the investigation, deputies released the 14-year-old boy into his father’s custody. His father noted he had been leery about purchasing a BB gun for his son and the boy was restricted from taking the gun from the residence. The boy’s father left the gun in the custody of deputies.

The 14-year-old was accompanied by three other boys, none of whom were apprehended but were contacted later by police for more information.

Wilson said the black BB gun looked like a small, caliber semi-automatic firearm and the warning — “Caution: misuse can cause serious injury or death” — was clearly stated on the side of the weapon.

Because air rifles are manufactured to look like real guns “we have to treat it like a real weapon until proven otherwise,” Wilson said about when deputies are confronted with a firearm.

“If this hadn’t played out the way it did ... the shooter probably would have been hauled down to juvenile detention,” Wilson added.

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