STOCKTON, CA (KOVR/CNN) – Police are searching for an 11-year-old boy who was caught – with a gun in hand – on surveillance video demanding money from a convenience store cashier.
The incident happened in broad daylight Monday afternoon at an ARCO gas station in Stockton, CA.
"Anytime you have a case involving a young child and a gun, that's concerning, but what makes this case unique is how bold the suspect was,” said Joe Silva with the Stockton Police Department.
Video shows the 11-year-old roll up to the store on a skateboard and pace around outside before he made his move.
The boy, who was wearing a hoodie and bandana on his face, then rushed into the store with a gun in hand, pointing it at the female worker.
"She was just really surprised. She couldn’t believe someone so young would be doing something this crazy,” the clerk’s co-worker Joe Ratto said.
Ratto says the woman didn’t open the cash register but instead yelled for another worker. When she yelled, the boy ran off, according to Ratto.
"There should be no way a kid that age should have access to a firearm,” one customer said.
Police say the investigation will look at the boy’s family dynamic and whether or not his parents may have owned a gun he had access to. If so, Silva says, the parents could face charges.
Lui Mafi, who mentors and provides resources for youth through Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, says her entire goal is to reach kids like this before something tragic happens.
"My first question is how did he get the gun and how are we able to support?" Mafi said. "Before we pass judgement on an 11-year old-boy, let's make sure we really understand what happened before he walked into that store and made the decision that he made."
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