A 6-year-old boy who police say opened fire in a Virginia classroom, seriously injuring a teacher, was in custody Friday, police said.
«This was not an accidental shooting,» Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said.
No students were injured in the afternoon shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, police said in a statement. declaration.
The shooting occurred in a first-grade classroom, and the boy and the teacher, who knew each other, were apparently alone, Drew said at an evening news conference.
“The altercation was between a 6-year-old boy, the student, who did have the firearm, and the teacher, and then a bullet was fired,” the chief said.
The teacher, a woman in her 30s, was hospitalized, authorities said.
“His injuries are still considered life-threatening, but there were some improvements in the last update we received,” the chief said Friday night.
The chief said the 6-year-old boy will not be identified due to his age.
«I am in awe, shock and discouraged,» Newport News Public Schools Superintendent George Parker III said at the evening news conference.
Police and school officials are investigating what happened before the shooting.
Officers were at the school «within minutes» of receiving a call about gunshots, the police chief said.
The school was locked down and Drew praised the poise and efficiency of the students and teachers who rushed to safety.
«I couldn’t be more impressed,» he said.
Since then, all students have been moved to the gym and are reuniting with their parents.
«The main thing right now is that we have all these children safe and the number one priority for me is getting our victim in the hospital under control and getting all these students back to their families,» Drew told reporters earlier that day. day.
Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones vowed to conduct an «after action» investigation and report so that such an incident «doesn’t happen again.»
Schools chief Parker said he will look to upgrade the district’s metal detectors, which can go off on certain days but were not in effect full-time at the elementary school.
It was unclear where the boy may have obtained the weapon, which Drew described as only a pistol.