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Police say girl, 11, aimed gun at sister, grandmother

May 12, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Police say an 11-year-old Martinsburg girl threatened her 7-year-old sister with a gun to force the younger child to play with her.

The girl also pointed the .38-caliber pistol at her grandmother, according to the Martinsburg Police Department. The child surrendered the gun after the grandmother made several demands for it.

The weapon was not loaded, but police believe the girl didn't know that.

The incident occurred Monday evening at the grandmother's residence.

Police say the two girls argued and the 11-year-old then retrieved the gun from her grandmother's bedroom.

She is being held at a juvenile detention center on charges of brandishing a weapon and domestic assault.

The names of the girls and their grandmother aren't being released.

The most tenured of the city police department's officers, including chief T.C. "Ted" Anderson and Lts. Glenn Macher and G.B. Swartwood on Tuesday did not recall a younger person ever being charged in a firearm incident.

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"This is truly a unique case," Macher said.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely on Tuesday recalled a case involving a 6-year-old juvenile, but that incident did not involve a firearm, she said.

"It's the youngest (juvenile) on the books at the moment," Games-Neely said of active cases.

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