CRIME

8-Year-Old Steals Mom's Gun, Robs Grocery Store, Police Say

His mother said she would have put her gun in a safe if she thought something like this could happen.
Surveillance video from a grocery store in West Palm Beach, Florida, shows an 8-year-old boy enter before attempting to rob t
Surveillance video from a grocery store in West Palm Beach, Florida, shows an 8-year-old boy enter before attempting to rob the store.

An 8-year-old boy accused of attempting to rob a Florida grocery store with his mother's gun will not face charges, the state announced Friday.

The boy walked into King Foods & Meat Bazaar in West Palm Beach Wednesday evening wearing a bike helmet and baggy clothing, police said.

"He was wearing like a motorcycle helmet, and he was wearing a sweater over his mouth,” a store clerk told local ABC affiliate WFTV. “He was only showing his eyes."

The boy then pulled a gun from his sweater and pointed it at a cashier while demanding money, according to WPTV.

Employee Robert Espinal told CBS Miami that he wasn't sure if the gun was real or fake, "But I took it seriously."

Surveillance video shows one clerk walking over to the boy, twisting his wrist and taking the weapon away.

Surveillance video from a grocery store in West Palm Beach, Florida, shows an employee attempted to wrestle a gun away from a
Surveillance video from a grocery store in West Palm Beach, Florida, shows an employee attempted to wrestle a gun away from an 8-year-old boy.

The gun was loaded, but there was no bullet in the chamber, an employee told WPBF TV.

The boy's mother, Ebonie Alls, told the station her son had told her he was going to the park.

Alls said she thought something might be up when she got ready to leave her house and pick up her other son.

“When I grabbed my purse, it was so light. ... I knew I was missing something. I said ‘Where’s my gun?’ The first thing I thought was I hope [the boy] doesn’t have my gun,” Alls told WFTV.

Police took the boy into custody. Investigators told CBS Miami the boy was being given a mental evaluation after he made comments about hurting himself.

Although state officials said the boy will not be charged for the incident, he is not allowed back into the grocery store and will have to enter a diversion program, WPBF reports.

Alls told CBS Miami that if she knew this might happen, she would "have had the gun locked up in a safe somewhere.”

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