A six-year-old student deliberately shot and wounded a teacher at his school in Newport News, Virginia in the U.S. during an altercation in a first-grade classroom on Friday, local police and school officials said.
The victim, identified as Abby Zwerner, was rushed to the hospital after being shot in the chest, and remained in critical condition.
The student who shot the teacher has not been publicly identified. He was taken into custody, and police are working to determine how he obtained the firearm.
Zwerner was the only person injured during the shocking incident at Richneck Elementary School. The Daily Mail reports that the teacher screamed at her students to run away as she was shot and fell wounded to the floor.
Late on Friday, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew told reporters that the incident was not a situation in which someone was going around the school shooting.
He added that although Zerner’s injuries were still life-threatening, her condition had “somewhat improved” in the latest update he had gotten.
— WTKR News 3 (@WTKR3) January 6, 2023
A school shooting involving a six-year-old is extremely rare although not unheard of while Virginia law limits the ways in which a child that age can be punished for such a crime, according to the Associated Press.
As per the Twitter account 0 Days Since Last Mass Shooting, twenty-three years ago, a six-year-old had brought a gun to school and killed a classmate in Michigan.
23 years ago, a 6-year-old brought a gun to school and killed a classmate in Michigan. 23 years later, a 6-year-old brought a gun to school and shot a teacher leaving her in critical condition at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia
We've learned nothing. pic.twitter.com/c1xrI8hZ8A
— 0 Days Since Last Mass Shooting (@0DSLMS) January 7, 2023
“Today’s incident highlights, yet again, the need to prioritize in this nation, the protection of our schools, our students and the communities who care for them,” the Uvalde Foundation For Kids commented in a statement. “Yet again, in another school in this nation; students are facing fear—instead of joy; lessons in violence—instead of peace.”
In the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting tragedy in May, U.S. President Joe Biden had called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines during a public address on gun violence.