A 15-year-old juvenile who shot a local homeless man was committed to the Division of Juvenile Facilities on Wednesday in Butte County Juvenile Court. The juvenile, who was 14-years-old at the time of the shooting, earlier admitted guilt to an attempted murder charge brought in the juvenile court by the Butte County District Attorney’s Office. The juvenile court judge sentenced the minor to up to 10 years of confinement time.
The attempted murder charge arose from a February 7, 2017 incident which occurred in a transient camp in an orchard above the Oroville fish hatchery. District Attorney Mike Ramsey stated the juvenile and a 57-year-old male got into an argument that morning about the juvenile and his friend loitering around the man’s camp. According to witnesses, the juvenile left the orchard, but then came back a few minutes later with a .22 caliber rifle. When the man confronted the juvenile, the juvenile shot him in the stomach. The victim survived the shot but was hospitalized for several days.
The juvenile is one of only two Butte County youth who are currently committed to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), formerly known the California Youth Authority (CYA).
Ramsey said he was thankful the victim survived what could have been a far more serious incident. Ramsey said the juvenile justice system has to balance both rehabilitation of youth as well as protection to the public. He believed the sentence balanced both safety to the public and giving the juvenile the opportunity and counseling he needs to hopefully transition into adulthood successfully.