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OKINAWA CITY — Okinawa police Friday took custody of the 19-year-old son of a U.S. Army servicemember after he allegedly shot a woman with an air rifle while she was walking on a street near his off-base home.

According to a spokesman for the Okinawa prefectural police station in Okinawa City, the incident occurred between 12:30 p.m. and 1:10 p.m. Friday in the Hamagawa district of Chatan.

The teen, who was not named because he is considered a minor under Japanese law, allegedly fired the air rifle from the balcony of his off-base home, aiming at the 50-year-old non-Japanese woman, and at a car owned by a 53-year-old Japanese base employee that was parked nearby.

A metallic pellet from the rifle embedded in the woman’s chest, and she was treated at U.S. Naval Hospital, the spokesman said. The extent of her wound was not known Saturday morning, but it was not believed to be life threatening.

Police investigating the incident discovered several pellets damaged the tail lamp and rear door of the compact car, causing about $300 in damage. The teenager was arrested after they traced the path of the pellets to the boy’s home.

Police confiscated an air rifle from the teenager’s home and took him into custody for questioning at 6:10 p.m., the police spokesman said.

Police were expected to refer charges of attempted murder and vandalism to the Naha District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday. They also are looking into how the teenager obtained the air rifle. In Japan, any air gun that fires a metallic projectile is restricted as a firearm.

The teenager reportedly denied the accusations, the police spokesman said.

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