A 6-year-old student shot a teacher during an altercation at a Virginia elementary school on Friday, police said.
No students were injured in the incident that took place at Richneck Elementary School, Newport News police said in a statement.
'Not an Accidental Shooting'
"This was not an accidental shooting," Police Chief Steve Drew told reporters during an evening press conference. The chief said the teacher, a woman in her 30s, suffered what he described as a life-threatening gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
The boy, who shot the teacher once with a handgun at about 2 p.m, was taken into custody, the chief said. No one else was involved in the incident, he said. "We have been in contact with our commonwealth attorney and some other entities to help us best get services to this young man."
The shooting was isolated to a classroom at the school, Drew added and reportedly followed an altercation between the teacher and the student. "This was not a situation where we had a student, or any other individuals, going up and down the halls actively firing in a long shooting incident."
Photos and video taken immediately after the shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News on Friday showed the chaos that had ensued as officers swarmed the school's brick building: children appeared afraid and confused, parents stood beside crime scene tape and dozens of officers patrolled the area.
The investigation is ongoing, he added. "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."
School District Superintendent Releases Statement
Richneck Elementary School will be closed Monday, according to Newport News Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. George Parker.
"I'm in shock, and I'm disheartened," Parker said in Friday's news conference. "We need to educate our children and we need to keep them safe."
"We need the community's support, continued support, to make sure that guns are not available to youth and I'm sounding like a broken record today, because I continue to reiterate that: that we need to keep the guns out of the hands of our young people," the superintendent said.
Officials are also looking into any past instances that may have transpired before the shooting, Parker added.