6-year-old shooting instructor in Newport News, Virginia, police say: Updates
A 6-year-old elementary school student in Virginia shot and wounded a teacher on Friday, authorities said Saturday, providing more information about the shooting and the teacher’s condition.
Police said the violence was not random as questions lingered about what would happen to the student. Experts say it’s rare for a child this young to be charged with an intentional shooting.
Police in Newport News, Virginia say a boy and a teacher “got into an argument” before one shot was fired. was dismissed from first grade Friday afternoon at Richneck Elementary School.
FRIDAY STARTS:A Virginia teacher was injured after a 6-year-old student was shot in class, officials said
“We didn’t have someone walking around during a school shooting. “We had a situation where shots were fired at a certain place,” said the police chief. Newport News, Steve Drew.
Here’s what we know.
What is the condition of the injured teacher?
The teacher, a 30-year-old woman, suffered fatal injuries Friday, Drew said.
Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones said Saturday afternoon that the U.S. is in “stable condition and on a positive track.”
Where did the boy find the gun?
The focus of the upcoming investigation will be to determine where the boy used the firearm, which Drew called a handgun.
Police did not respond to inquiries about that aspect of the investigation or interview any adults involved in the shooting.
Gun safety experts are sounding the alarm about children accessing dangerous weapons owned by parents and guardians and accidentally injuring themselves or others. A study by advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety found that at least 301 accidental shootings of children in the United States in 2022 resulted in 133 deaths and 180 injuries.
A 2019 report by the U.S. Secret Service also found that most school bullies who use firearms acquire them at home and that the firearms are owned by parents or other relatives.
An estimated 4.6 million children in the United States lived in a home with at least one unlocked and loaded gun in 2021, according to a study using data from the National Firearms Survey.
Is it rare for children to commit violent crimes?
While there are incidents of children, usually teenagers, shooting their teachers, experts say, what police describe as a deliberate act by a young child is extremely rare.
“Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a 6-year-old child to have access to a loaded gun and shoot themselves or someone else,” Daniel Webster, a professor who studies the disease, told the Associated Press. Gun Violence at Johns Hopkins University.
There is another case of a one-year-old boy who opened fire at school. In February 2000, 6-year-old Kayla Rolland was shot and killed by a classmate at her school in Michigan, also 6. time. The case sparked calls for increased gun safety across the country.
Can a 6-year-old be charged with a crime?
The 6-year-old boy who shot Kayla Rolland has not been charged because authorities said he was too young to understand what happened. An adult man has been convicted of manslaughter after he pointed a gun at a boy who lived in the same house. Police said the gun was kept in a shoebox.
Some states have a minimum age at which children can be charged with a crime. They range from 7 years in Florida to 13 years in Maryland, but they make exceptions for certain types of violence. Virginia has no minimum age requirement.
Indeed, young children can be charged with crimes in the state, says Virginia juvenile criminal defense attorney Kelly L. DiCorrado. DiCorrado recalled his firm representing a 6-year-old boy accused of robbery.
According to Andrew Block, a law professor at the University of Virginia and former director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, it is highly unlikely that such a young child will be prosecuted. Block said he is not aware of a successful prosecution of a child this age in the state.
“Even if they could, would that still be the best way to handle it?” Blok said.
What could happen next?
If a child is charged, a defense attorney can invoke the statutory protections of a child, Block said, meaning he is too young to understand the consequences of what he has done. Both Block and DiCorrado said the court would have to find him competent, meaning he can assist in his own defense, which is unlikely for a 6-year-old.
Instead, authorities could apply to have him declared a child in need of services, such as counseling, Block said. Authorities focus more on providing services in the interest of rehabilitation than punishment. In Virginia, a juvenile cannot be taken into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice unless he is charged with a very serious crime, he said, adding that would not be the right way to go. how to solve this situation.
DiCorrado said anything can be a frustrating process when emotions run high in a community, but people need to be open.
“When something like this happens and we have a crime, we want to see justice unfold … so this teacher can get justice, this school can get justice,” he said. “A lot of people, including a 6-year-old, will notice.”
How did society react?
According to Superintendent George Parker, students at Richneck will not return to school on Monday to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy.
Parker said students and district staff learned a “lesson about gun violence” Friday and added that gun safety education will be a top priority to keep school communities safe.
“Fortunately, these situations are very rare, but when an emergency like this occurs, it can be a symptom of other things that may be going on in the home, school, community, or society at large,” Block said. .
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