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Boys ages 7 and 11 use loaded gun during attempted carjacking

Two children, ages 7 and 11, who tried to carjack a woman at gunpoint in a church parking lot got the gun from their parents.

Ami Garrett, 22, of Southeast Portland said during a Monday, Dec. 10 interview on the Victoria Taft Show that the only thing the children said about their parents during the attempted carjacking and robbery was that's who they got the gun from.

Police seized a cocked and loaded gun from the 11-year-old boy's pocket shortly after the attack at about 12:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland Police spokesman.

The victim credits another another 11-year-old boy — who reported seeing an 11-year-old boy armed with a loaded handgun near the 16000 block of Southeast Alder Street — with saving her life.

Officers with the Portland Police Bureau's East Precinct responded to the report, arriving just as Garrett sped off with the 11-year-old suspect aiming a gun at her pickup truck.

Garrett had been sitting in her truck in the Freedom Foursquare Church parking lot waiting to pickup her parents who were in church when the children approached her vehicle.

She told police they demanded her truck. The 7-year-old boy told the 11-year-old boy to "show her your piece," after which the 11 year old lifted his shirt and showed her a gun.

The woman refused and asked if the gun was real. "You don't ever ask if it's real," the older boy said. "That's how you get yourself killed."

They even showed her the bullets to prove the gun was real.

When she still refused to give them the truck, they demanded her phone and money. They said they couldn't leave without something and threatened to shoot her if she didn't cooperate. She again refused. The older boy grabbed her arm as she peeled away, calling 9-1-1.

While the truck began to leave, she saw the 11-year-old boy pull the gun from his pocket and feared he'd shoot at her.

Just then, police arrived and contacted two boys.The older boy told the younger one to run, but police stopped both of them south of the church.

Officers told the older boy to keep his hands out of his pockets, but he ignored the officers and tried putting his hand back in his pocket. Officers grabbed his arms and recovered a cocked and loaded .22-caliber handgun in his pocket.

The 11-year-old was not handcuffed, but was placed in the back of a police car. The 7-year-old sat down on the ground.

"I didn't think I was going to make it out alive," Garrett said.

The suspects are so young, they can't be taken to the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home, where most juvenile crime suspects are lodged.

With the minimum age for arrest being 12, police could only release them to their parents, Simpson said.

After dropping off the 11-year-old boy at his parents' house, he took off running from police but was quickly caught again and left in the custody of his parents.

He later tried to push his way onto a television news broadcast about the case by getting on camera during an at-the-scene interview with the victim.

The reporter refused to interview the child, saying he was under age.

Residents across East Multnomah County are stunned by the crime, as are police.

"Never," said Simpson, a nearly 20-year police veteran, when asked if he's ever been involved in a carjacking case in which a suspect was as young as 7.

Both children live in the neighborhood. There also is no indication the crime was part of a gang initiation or otherwise gang related.




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