Six-year-old boy in custody after shooting teacher in Virginia school
It remains unknown how the child came to possess the firearm in the first place, as the teacher's condition remains slightly but not fully improved.
A six-year-old boy is now in police custody after shooting his teacher at Richneck Elementary school in Newport News, Virginia, on Friday.
The victim, as confirmed by Police Chief Steve Drew to reporters, is a female in her 30s having suffered potentially “life-threatening” wounds; her condition remains improved but not fully.
A handgun was used in the incident but police do not know how the child came into possession of the firearm as Drew added that it was an isolated incident in the classroom and not a mass shooting like the US is used to hearing about almost daily.
“This was not a situation where we had a student, or any other individuals, going up and down the halls actively firing in a long shooting incident,” Drew stated. Classes have been canceled for Monday at Richneck Elementary for now.
Drew stated that it was "not an accidental shooting" but did not state how he got to that conclusion.
'Dark day for Newport News'
Families were reunited with their children in the school gym after the incident, and counselors were on standby, ready for students affected by this incident to talk. While answering the question regarding if his parents have been informed, Drew said: “I want to know where that firearm came from.”
At the same press conference alongside police, newly-elected Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones expressed: “It hurts my heart,” adding: “It is a dark day for Newport News, but we are going to learn from this and we are going to come back stronger."
Dr. Parker, as assurance, said, “Today, our students got a lesson in gun violence and what guns can do to disrupt not only an educational environment but also a family [and] a community,” as he continued, “We need community’s support – continued support – to make sure guns are not available to youth. I’m sounding like a broken record today, because I continue to reiterate that: we need to keep guns out of the hands of our young people.”
“We need to educate our children and keep them safe,” Parker concluded. “Today was really a breakdown of what our values are as a community, what our values are as a city, and what our values are as a school division.”
Not only have school shootings constantly made headlines in the US this past year, but guns have been increasingly more accessible to children, as several incidents across the country have shown. Shootings among school children have been evident in Atlanta and Chicago, and this comes in light of the past year 2022 marking the 10th anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children.
2022 was also the year in which every news headline in the world spoke of the Uvalde shooting in Texas that claimed the lives of 19 children amid an extremely slow police response.