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Police arrest boy, 15, accuse him of firing BB gun at school bus

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have found and arrested a teenage boy who they said shot at a school bus with his BB gun Wednesday morning.

The shooting was not related to earlier reports of a child playing with a gun at a bus stop minutes earlier, police said.

Spokesman Bill Proffitt said an unidentified caller reported seeing a gun-toting child at 26th Avenue S and 16th Street about 7:48 a.m., and another child was trying to take it away.

Less than 10 minutes later, a school bus driver heard a pop and saw a small hole in the bus window. The hole was small and appeared to be from a BB gun, authorities said.

The bus stopped at 21st Avenue S and 19th Street and was not evacuated. The eight children and two aides on the bus were unharmed, police said, and the bus continued on to school. Kids were smiling and waving on the bus as police and news reporters stood outside.

Officers started looking for Jimmy L. McCray, 15, of 1820 20th Ave. S, based on interviews with residents of the Fruitland Heights neighborhood. They stood outside his small, light brown home for about an hour though he wasn't inside.

McCray is a student at Associated Marine Institute in St. Pete Beach. Police there detained and interviewed him.

He told authorities that he shot the BB gun at the bus but was "aiming at something else," Proffitt said.

Police arrested McCray on a felony charge of throwing a deadly missile. McCray also violated his probation for throwing an object at a school bus in 2009, police said.

Police have the BB gun, Proffitt said.

The gun-toting boy at the bus stop turned out not to be a threat, police said.

He and the one trying to wrestle it away are brothers, 10 and 12 years old, they said. The boys were playing "cops and robbers" with a plastic toy gun. They dropped it off at a friend's house before getting on the bus for school, police said.

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Police arrest boy, 15, accuse him of firing BB gun at school bus 03/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 2:07pm]
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