A 6-year-old boy was arrested on Friday (Jan. 6) after he reportedly shot a teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. The horrifying ordeal unfolded around 2 p.m. when the teacher and boy were involved in an altercation of some sort, and a single shot was fired, reported CNN. No students were injured.
The first-grade educator is a female in her 30s. She suffered life-threatening injuries. “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,” said Police Chief Steve Drew in a press conference held Friday. Instead, authorities believe the child deliberately acted with malice. He added, “This was not an accidental shooting.”
Newport News Public Schools Superintendent Dr. George Parker announced the school would be closed on Monday (Jan. 9) so staff and students could focus on their mental health. He said the shooting left him in shock and disheartened. The alarming incident comes as the nation continues to grapple with the influx of mass shootings that have taken place at schools and other public places. “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. I’m sounding like a broken record today because I continue to reiterate that we need to keep the guns out of the hands of our young people,” said Parker.
As for the suspected shooter, Drew noted, “We have been in contact with our commonwealth attorney and some other entities to help us best get services to this young man.” Through their investigation, the police chief said authorities hope to determine where the gun came from and they are looking into past interactions shared between the teacher and boy.
View the full press conference below.