An elementary school teacher suffered life-threatening injuries after being shot Friday in a Virginia first-grade classroom by a 6-year-old student, officials said. The student is in custody.
No students were injured at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, police said.
“The altercation was between a 6-year-old, the student who did have the firearm, and the teacher,” Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said. “This was not an accidental shooting.”
Drew said a call was received about the shooting at about 2 p.m. and authorities responded “within minutes.” He said there is not a continued threat to the community.
“We did not have a situation where someone was going around the school shooting. We had a situation in one particular location where a gunshot was fired,” Drew said in a press conference.
Drew said a focus of further investigation will be the handgun used by the student: “I want to know where that firearm came from.”
He said the child was still in custody Friday evening as officials determined what services he would need and how to address the situation.
“It’s a dark day for Newport News, we’re going to learn from this and we’re going to come back stronger,” Mayor Phillip Jones said at a press conference.
Joselin Glover, whose son is in fourth grade, told The Virginian-Pilot newspaper she got a text from the school stating that one person was shot and another was in custody.
“My heart stopped,” she said. “I was freaking out, very nervous. Just wondering if that one person was my son.”
Carlos, her 9-year-old, was at recess. But he said he and his classmates were soon holed up in the back of a classroom.
“Most of the whole class was crying,” Carlos told the newspaper.
Richneck students will not have school Monday as the community addresses the aftermath of the crisis, Superintendent George Parker said.
Newport News is a city of over 185,000 people, per the U.S. Census Bureau, about 40 miles out of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. It’s known for its connections to shipbuilding for the U.S. Navy.
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Contributing: The Associated Press