PORTLAND – Two boys, ages 11 and 7, were accused of displaying a loaded gun and trying to carjack and rob a woman in Portland Saturday, but were too young to go to jail, police said.
After hearing reports of an 11-year-old with a gun, police rushed to 16000 Southeast Alder Street near the Freedom Foursquare church, said Sgt. Pete Simpson with the Portland Police Bureau.
Officers spotted an 11-year-old and a 7-year-old boy on the south side of the church. Police told the 11-year-old to keep his hands out of his pockets but he ignored them. The officers grabbed his arms and found a cocked and loaded .22 caliber handgun in his pocket, Simpson said. Because of the boys’ ages, they were placed into the custody of their families after the incident. When the 11-year-old was taken home, he took off running. He was quickly caught again and left in the custody of his parents.
"If they were old enough, they'd be booked into the jail and charged with a Measure 11 robbery one, which would land them 90 months in prison. They're too young for that," Simpson said. "They're not set up at the Juvenile Justice Center to be able to handle 11- and 7-year olds, so officers took them home to parents to explain the situation to them."
Ami Garrett, 22, said she was sitting in her truck when the two kids approached her in the church parking lot and tried to carjack her while she waited for her parents, Simpson said.
Garrett told officers that the 7-year-old told the 11-year-old to "show her your piece" and the 11-year-old lifted his shirt and showed her the gun.
"They told me they had a gun and I asked if it was real, and they said 'you don't ever ask if a gun is real,'" Garrett told KGW Sunday. "There was a lot of curse words and at first I thought they were just punk kids. I didn't think it was a real gun until he showed me the bullets."
Garrett refused to give up her truck, so the kids demanded her phone and money, telling her they couldn’t leave without something and threatened to shoot her, Simpson said.
"They told me they were going to blow my brains out if I didn't give them something," Garrett said. "My heart was beating a million miles an hour. I definitely didn't think I was going to get out of there alive. I thought I was going to die."
Garrett didn’t give them anything. Instead, she drove away and called police. As she was driving, she saw the 11-year-old pull the gun out.
"It's crazy. It seems like something you would see on CSI," she said. "God was obviously protecting me."
"In almost 20 years of police work, I've never heard of anything like this," Simpson said. "Not only was it young kids with a gun, but the attitude that came out of the kids and the kind of criminal aura that was being displayed is just unbelievable."