A 6-year-old boy is in police custody after he shot a teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, Friday afternoon, Police Chief Steve Drew said in a news conference.
“The individual is a 6-year-old student. He is right now in police custody,” Drew said. “We have been in contact with our commonwealth attorney and some other entities to help us best get services to this young man.”
Drew said the female teacher – who is in her 30s – was shot inside a classroom and added that “this was not an accidental shooting.”
The police chief said there was an altercation between the teacher and the student, who had the firearm, and that a single round was fired.
Drew, who had earlier said the teacher was in critical condition, said Friday evening her injuries were considered life-threatening but that there was “some improvement in the last update that we got.”
There were no other students involved, the chief said.
The investigation is ongoing, he added.
“We’ll get the investigation done, there’s questions we’ll want to ask and find out about. I want to know where that firearm came from, what was the situation,” Drew added.
Richneck Elementary School will be closed Monday, according to Newport News Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. George Parker.
“I’m in shock, and I’m disheartened,” Parker said in Friday’s news conference. “We need to educate our children and we need to keep them safe.”
“We need the community’s support, continued support, to make sure that guns are not available to youth and I’m sounding like a broken record today, because I continue to reiterate that: that we need to keep the guns out of the hands of our young people,” the superintendent said.
Officials are also looking into any past instances that may have transpired before the shooting, Parker added.