BREMERTON, Wash. (KTLA) -- A 9-year-old boy wrote a hand-written letter apologizing to a classmate who was seriously wounded after a gun discharged from his backpack.
In the letter, the boy says "I'm sorry I hurt you because I brought a gun to school."
The handwritten letter was addressed to Amina Bowman, 8, who was shot in the stomach.
Bowman left the hospital Tuesday, after undergoing five surgeries in six weeks.
"I will stay away from guns," the boy writes in the letter. "I should have told a grown-up."
The boy took the gun from his mother's house, where it lay exposed.
His mother, Jamie Lee Chaffin, and her boyfriend, Douglas L. Bauer, pleaded not guilty to third-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to ABC affiliate KOMO.
According to court documents, school staff and officers located a large-caliber semiautomatic handgun in a backpack in the classroom where Bowman had been shot.
The backpack had been ripped open at the bottom where the muzzle had been pointed.
"At the end of the school day, the firearm discharged while in his backpack. A bullet went through the backpack, striking Bowman.
"At this stage of the investigation, detectives believe the shooting was accidental," the police statement said.
According to charging documents released Thursday, students told investigators the boy planned to bring "his dads gun to school and run away."
One student said the boy needed the gun for protection, the documents said.
"I was sad, scared and afraid and I did not solve my problem well," the boy told her in his letter.
The boy had recently been removed from the custody of his parents.