Police say that two boys aged 7 and 11 attempted to rob a 22-year-old woman with a loaded gun. The 11-year-old boy was armed with a .22 caliber handgun when officers found him at a church parking lot in Portland where he attempted robbery.
AP reports police say they are investigating how the boy obtained the gun.
According to AP, a statement by Portland police, said: "Officers told the 11-year-old 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 boys are accused of attempting to carjack a 22-year-old woman who was in the driver's seat of her family pickup in the church parking lot waiting for her parents.
Oregon Live reports that Amy Garrett said she was browsing Facebook on her cellphone in the parking lot of a Foursquare church in southeast Portland when an 11-year-old boy accompanied by a 7-year-old, appeared and tried to rob her. The boys told her they had a gun.
Garret said that at first she thought it was a joke and that the boy's profanity-laced language was an attempt to sound tough. She said "They were children. I didn't think they'd actually have a real gun."
Her robbers-to-be tried to convince her they meant business. When Garrett refused to let them have the car, the younger boy told his older companion "show her your piece."
The boys came around to the driver's side of the pickup and showed her the sliver handle of a .22 caliber handgun, cursing and swearing at her. The older boy assured her the gun was loaded. The 7-year-old boy pulled out a box of bullets to back up his companion's claim, Oregon Live reports.
Meanwhile, a woman across the street, whose son told her he saw the 11-year-old boy with a gun, called the police.
When the two boys demanded the pickup truck, Garret turned on the ignition and showed them the gas needle. She told them the gas tank was empty and explained, "You won't get anywhere."
The boys then demanded cash. She told them: "I don't have any." Then they demanded her phone, but still, she refused.
According to AP, when the older boy grabbed her arm and began waving the weapon, saying he was "gonna blow [her] brains out,” Garrett realized she could be deep in trouble.
She managed to start the engine and reverse the car out of the parking lot as the boy threatened her with the gun. The police arrived as it appeared the boy was going to fire his weapon.
Garret said: "I literally thought I was going to die. If the cops hadn't come right then, I'm sure he would've fired it."
According to Oregon Live, two Portland police officers, Greg Baldwin and Scott Robertson, approached the boys. The 11-year-old hid the gun away in his pocket when he saw the officers and tried to run, but the officers stopped him.
He ignored police order to keep his hands in sight. The officers managed to grab his hands and recover the loaded gun from him.
Oregon Live reports Sgt. Pete Simpson, said: "It would have taken only a pull on the trigger. I've never heard of a 7-year-old being involved in an armed robbery. These weren't just two kids goofing around."
Both children are now in their parents' custody. Police said the 11-year-old tried to run away after he was returned to his parents who live near the church. Officers caught him and took him back home.
The officers had to return the boys to their parents because they were too young to be booked at a juvenile detention facility. According to Oregon Live, Multnomah County’s Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home only detains youths 12-17. The regulations require that police officers return child offenders to their parents.
Simpson said: "Unfortunately, it's not something we have the ability to just arbitrarily decide.There's no process for us not to take them home."
He said they were investing how the boys obtained the gun.