A six-year-old child is in police custody after allegedly shooting a Virginia elementary school teacher, authorities say.
Officials say that the female teacher was left with “life-threatening injuries” after being shot by a student during an altercation at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News on Friday.
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew told reporters that the student had a handgun in the classroom and was taken into custody by his department.
Police said that they do not believe the shooting was an accident and the department is investigating how the youngster got hold of the weapon.
“The altercation was between a 6-year-old, the student who did have the firearm, and the teacher and then the round was fired,” said Chief Drew. “This was not an accidental shooting.”
The alarm was raised at around 2pm ET, and the teacher, who is in her 30s, is being treated at Riverside Regional Medical Center.
No other students were injured during the shocking incident.
Dr George Parker, the superintendent of Newport News Public Schools, told a press conference he was stunned at what had taken place at the school.
“I’m in shock, and I’m in awe, and I’m disheartened,” Dr Parker said, adding “we need to keep guns out of the hands of our young people.”
“I cannot control access to weapons. My teachers cannot control access to weapons,” he told reporters.
Both of Virginia’s US Senators expressed their shock at the situation.
Deeply disturbed by this report and closely monitoring the situation. My thoughts go out to all families and first responders.” tweeted Senator Mark Warner.
And Senator Tim Kaine issued a statement, saying, “I’m monitoring this situation closely and praying for the safety of the students, teachers, staff, and first responders at Richneck Elementary School.”