CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A 13-year-old girl who shot and critically wounded a couple in their 70s at a suburban St. Louis beauty supply store has pleaded guilty in family court.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the girl will be turned over to the juvenile system for at least three years and will get counseling during that time.
The guilty plea and sentence were announced Tuesday by the St. Louis County NAACP, which had argued that the girl should not be tried as an adult.
The crime happened in July at Kings Beauty Supply in Bellefontaine Neighbors. Police say the girl had been kicked out of the store earlier in the day for stealing hair extensions. She shot the couple — the parents of the store owner — after returning later in the day.
The girl's father and an aunt were at the NAACP news conference announcing the court action. They said they are happy the girl will get counseling and are praying for the victims.
The girl's father said he had tried to get his daughter help before the shooting, when he noticed peer pressure from the streets taking hold over her. The father said he doesn't know where his daughter got the gun used in the crime. The aunt didn't know either.
NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt said he hopes the region can do a better job helping young people before they turn to violence.
The victims' daughter had wanted the girl to be tried as an adult, but a judge instead decided she should remain in the family court system.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com