A 6-year-old was detained by police in Virginia Friday after the child was accused of shooting a teacher.
The incident took place at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Police Chief Steve Drew said, according to CNN.
“The individual is a 6-year-old student. He is right now in police custody. We have been in contact with our commonwealth attorney and some other entities to help us best get services to this young man,” he said.
The name of the child was not given. The teacher was identified as Abby Zwerner, who is in her mid-30s, according to WTKR-TV.
THE LATEST: A 6-year-old male student is in custody and a female teacher is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries Friday afternoon following a shooting in the classroom at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, officials confirm. https://t.co/nTFKLGVjjJ pic.twitter.com/qfkVj5ubvG
— WTKR News 3 (@WTKR3) January 6, 2023
The shooting took place in a classroom, Drew said, adding, “this was not an accidental shooting.”
One round was fired, he said, after an altercation between the students and the teacher. Drew said the student had the gun in his possession.
The teacher was initially reported in critical condition. Drew said Friday night her injuries were life-threatening but there had been “some improvement in the last update that we got.”
“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 said, noting that police responded within minutes to the report of a shot fired.
Richneck Elementary School will be closed Monday, according to Newport News Public Schools Superintendent, George Parker, who said the incident took place in a first-grade classroom.
“I cannot control access to weapons. My teachers cannot control access to weapons,” Parker said, according to The New York Times.
“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, a community,” he said.
“This is terrible. This is something that should never occur, and I think we’re all in shock and we all understand that we have a lot of work to do as a community to make sure things like this don’t occur,” Parker said, according to CBS.
He said the district uses metal detectors randomly in the district.
“It shook me up hearing those kids crying and going frantic. All they knew was that there was a shooter in the school and they didn’t know where the shooter was,” she said.
She said that she remained on the phone with her son telling him, “You are going to be all right.”
Newport News is a city of more than 180,000 people, about 70 miles southeast of Richmond. It is known for its shipyard, which builds the nation’s aircraft carriers and other U.S. Navy vessels, according to WTKR.
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