Six-Year Old Shooting Teacher ‘A Red Flag for the Country,’ Mayor Says – Rolling Stone
The mayor of Newport News, Virginia where, a day earlier, a six-year-old elementary student brought a gun to school and intentionally shot his teacher, called the incident a “red flag for the country” during a press conference Saturday.
Mayor Phillip Jones told reporters that the teacher — a woman in her 30s — remains hospitalized following the shooting, but is “trending in a positive direction.”
The incident took place Friday at Richneck Elementary School, with the first grade student (whose name is being withheld by law enforcement due to the age of the child) firing one shot at his teacher, who suffered “life-threatening injuries.”
“This was not an accidental shooting,” Police Chief Steve Drew said. A classmate of the six-year-old boy told the Daily Press that the teacher was shot in the stomach and that the shooter did it “on purpose.”
The six-year-old boy was detained and taken into police custody following the shooting; because of his young age, he cannot be charged as an adult over the incident, nor can he be placed into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice if he’s found guilty of any charges, the Associated Press reports.
Authorities and Jones didn’t elaborate on the specifics of the shooting — or how the six-year-old obtained the gun — citing the pending investigation. However, Jones said that, “I do think that after this event, there is going to be a nationwide discussion on how these sorts of things can be prevented.”
George Parker III, the Newport News schools superintendent, added in a statement, “Today our students got a lesson in gun violence and what guns can do to disrupt, not only an educational environment, but also a family, a community.”
The New York Times reported that, according to a database that tracks all incidents of gun violence, only four cases dating back to 1970 involved children aged six and younger: Two of the cases involving six-year-olds were accidental shootings, while the third — which occurred in Feb. 2000 — drew nationwide headlines after a six-year-old boy shot a female classmate to death. The youngest incident on record happened in 2013, when a five-year-old kindergartener fired a gun in a cafeteria; no one was injured in that incident.