A year later, young victim of school shooting still recovering

A year later, young victim of school shooting still recovering »Play Video
Amina Bowman
SEATTLE -- One year ago on Friday, a 9-year-old boy brought a loaded gun to school in his backpack, reportedly to protect himself from bullies.

The gun went off in his backpack, hitting third grader Amina Bowman and changing her life forever.

Amina was a very quiet little girl, even before the accident. Today, she's more timid and she's lost a lot of her confidence. But she's alive, back in school and getting better all the time.

A year can seem like a blip in time, a blink of an eye. But for the Bowman family, the last 12 months must have seemed like and eternity.

"She's fine physically, but mentally she still has a ways to go," said Amina's mom, Teri Bowman.

Amina's dad, John, will never forget the day his daughter nearly died. He remembers something Teri told tAmina that day during the airlift to Harborview Medical Center.

"She actually told Amina, 'You can't, you can't quit because Bowmans' don't quit,'" he said.

She didn't quit, not even after five surgeries where doctors removed her gallbladder, part of her small intestine and a major vein.

"I tell her I love her and I say, 'I'm glad you're here, I'm glad you stayed,' and I don't think she realizes how close she was to not being here with us," John said.

Amina's parents say since the shooting she gets fatigued easily, is hesitant to go outside and play and is afraid to sleep alone.

The family is suing the Bremerton School District for $10 million.

"The big goal, and the family's goal, is to push the school systems to provide a safe place that our children can go to elementary school," said attorney Jeffrey Campiche.

On Thursday, charges were dismissed against the boy who brought the gun to school. The Bowman's are also suing the boy's family.

Amina is now 10-years old, and she has scars -- mentally and physically. She recently told her mom she likes scars on her body because they make her different.

"The physical injuries may heal, but the emotional trauma that she went through is kind of something that will take time," John said.

Amina has time. She has a whole life full of it to look forward to. Maybe the next year will be like a blink of an eye.

The Bowman family said their lives still aren't back to normal. There are still a lot of doctor's appointments and Amina sees a psychologist every weeks. But they say the support they've received has been amazing and they feel like they're on the right path.