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12-Year-Old West Michigan Boy Fires Gun, Robs Gas Station

(CNN) - Michigan police took a 12-year-old boy into custody last week after pulling out a weapon and robbing a gas station.

Armed robberies are not too common in small towns like Hartford, but when the suspect is this young even law enforcement veterans are surprised.

"It flabbergasts me that a young person, broad daylight, no mask, would walk right in the business with other customers, announce an armed robbery," said Lt. Michael Prince of the Hartford Police Department.

Hartford police say a 12-year-old boy took a gun out of a locked cabinet in his home, went to this marathon gas station, and pointed the gun at a clerk, demanding money.

The clerk asked if the boy was serious and police say the 12-year-old then pointed the gun at the ceiling and pulled the trigger.

"It's very concerning. The school shootings that we're seeing every day, the violence we're seeing in churches. I think the father had good intentions, but I think he learned a valuable lesson that he needs to secure the firearm even better than he did because the young man was able to pry the door open," said Prince.

Police say the clerk then gave a few thousand dollars to the boy, who put the money in a backpack and ran off, but law enforcement from several agencies responded within 90 seconds and caught the boy in a nearby parking lot.

"He pretty much did not lie about anything. He will not give us his exact reason. He said it wasn't for the money. But he would not tell us. It was recorded on high-definition, three different cameras at the business. I just don't know what was going on in this young guy's mind," said Prince.

All the money and the loaded gun were recovered.

The boy was taken to the juvenile detention center in Allegan County.

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