A teacher who was seriously injured when she was shot by a 6-year-old student in the city of Newport News has shown improvement as Virginia authorities try to understand how such a young child could become involved in a school shooting, the mayor said. of the entity on Saturday.
Mayor Phillip Jones said the health status of the teacher, a woman in her 30s, "is trending in a positive direction." In a press release issued Saturday, the Police Department said Police Chief Steve Drew met with the teacher, who remains hospitalized, and her family Saturday morning.
"She has improved and is currently in stable condition," the statement read.
The boy wounded the teacher with a gun in a first-grade classroom Friday at Richneck Elementary School, according to authorities. Drew claimed that it was not an accidental shooting and that it was part of an altercation. No student was injured.
Police on Saturday refused to say what sparked the altercation and would not release any other details about what happened in the classroom, saying it was an ongoing investigation.
Jones also declined to provide details of the incident or say how the minor had access to the gun or who owned the gun.
“It is an alarm signal for the country,” Jones said. "I think after this incident there will be a nationwide discussion about how to avoid it."
Virginia law prevents 6-year-olds from being prosecuted as adults. Also, a minor is too young to be taken into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice if convicted.
A juvenile offenses judge has the authority to revoke custody of your parents and relinquish custody to the Department of Social Services.
Jones did not disclose where the boy is being held.
“We're making sure he has all the services he needs right now,” Jones said.
Experts who study gun violence consider the shooting to represent an extremely rare case of a young boy bringing a gun to school and injuring a teacher.
"It's very rare and it's not something the justice system is really designed or prepared for," said researcher David Riedman, founder of a database that tracks school shootings in the United States dating back to the 1970s.