A 6-year-old who opened fire and seriously injured a teacher in a Virginia classroom on Friday has been taken into custody, 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 statement.
Drew said at an evening news conference that the shooting took place in a first-grade classroom and that the child was apparently alone with a teacher who knew each other.
“The altercation took place between a 6-year-old student and the teacher, who did possess a firearm, and one shot was fired,” the superintendent said.
The female teacher, who is in her 30s, was hospitalized, officials said.
“Her injuries are still considered life-threatening, but the latest information we have has improved,” the director said on Friday night.
The 6-year-old boy will not be identified because of his age, the official said.
“I’m in awe, shock and dismay,” Newport News Public Schools Superintendent George Parker III said at an evening news conference.
Police and school officials are investigating the circumstances leading up to the shooting.
The police chief said officers attended the school “within minutes” of the call about the shooting.
The school was locked down and Drew praised the composure and efficiency of students and staff as they scrambled to safety.
“I’m impressed,” he said.
All students have since been moved to the gymnasium and reunited with their parents.
“The most important thing right now is that we keep all these kids safe, and my priority is to check on our victims at the hospital and reunite all these students with their families,” Drew told reporters earlier in the day.
Newport News Mayor Philip Jones vowed to conduct a “postmortem” investigation and report so an incident like this “doesn’t happen again.”
Parker, the school superintendent, said he would consider upgrading the area’s metal detectors, which can be activated on certain days but not full-time at elementary schools.
It’s unclear where the child may have obtained the weapon, which Drew described only as a pistol.