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07th Jan 2023

Boy, 6, shoots teacher in classroom leaving her with life-threatening injuries

Steve Hopkins

The shooting was not ‘accidental’

A six-year-old boy has been detained by police after leaving his teacher with life-threatening injuries after a shooting inside her classroom in Virginia.

The incident happened shortly after 2pm local time (7pm GMT) on Friday in a first grade (ages six to seven) classroom after an altercation between the pair at Richneck Elementary School in the city of Newport News, police chief Steve Drew said.

It is not clear how the child got the gun, but Drew said the incident was not “accidental”.

The teacher – who is her 30s but has not been named – was taken to a local hospital and is being closely monitored by doctors, but is showing some improvement, Drew said.

The child was found with a handgun inside the classroom, and has been taken into custody.

“This was not an accidental shooting,” Drew said, adding that he wants to know where the gun came from.

“We did not have a situation where someone was going around the school shooting,” he continued. “We have a situation in one particular location where a gunshot was fired.”

Joselin Glover, whose nine-year-old son Carlos attends Richneck Elementary, told The Virginian-Pilot newspaper that she got a text from the school stating that one person had been 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, who is in fourth grade, was at recess at the time 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.

Schools superintendent George Parker said he was “shocked” and “disheartened” by the shooting and called for more to be done to stop children getting hold of firearms.

“We need to keep guns out of the hands of our young people,” he said. “I cannot control access to weapons. My teachers cannot control access to weapons.”

Richneck Elementary has about 550 students, according to the Virginia Department of Education’s website.

According to Eduction Week there were 51 school shootings in America in 2022 that resulted in injuries or deaths, the most in a single year since the publisher began tracking such incidents in 2018. There have been 145 such shootings since then.

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