NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A female teacher was sent to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and a child suspect was taken into custody on Friday following a shooting at an elementary school in southern Virginia's coastal city Newport News.
WTKR reported that, according to police, the child suspect is a 6-year-old boy who is a student at the elementary school.
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew confirmed that the 6-year-old is a first grade student, and police believe the shooting was not accidental when it took place inside of a classroom at the elementary school.
Drew said, "All the children inside the school have been taken from the room with their teachers, and escorted to the gymnasium. They're all safe in there. They're actually in there with with counselors and officers. [They're] cutting up a little bit... It's good to see them laughing. We want to make sure that they're OK."
Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones said, "The police did an amazing job, they were here very, very quickly along with the sheriff’s office. We are ensuring that everyone is safe, we are ensuring that everyone is accounted for."
"This is a long day for Newport News. We’re going to ensure that everyone’s taken care of," said Jones.
A mother outside of the school told WTKR, "Ok, that's the biggest problem in this country. Statistics in the U.K. for crime is zero for guns why is it so bad? Why is their a 7-year-old have a bloody gun. Come on think about it...let's do something. We've got a new governor, let's do something...let's change it, you've got a beautiful country, you've got beautiful people, but what's the problem? Guns...I'm only here because my husband is in the military or otherwise, I would not have chosen this country."
Parent reacts to student allegedly shooting teacher at Newport News school https://t.co/ekScuGHtj8 pic.twitter.com/fV9b0nTacr— WTKR News 3 (@WTKR3) January 6, 2023
A heavy police presence was seen at the city's Richneck Elementary School, not far from the large Newport News park and Newport News Williamsburg International airport.
Police tactical teams were dispatched responding to a shooting at the school at around 2 p.m.
Authorities confirmed that officers were sent into the building.
No reports of injuries to other children were released by police or city authorities.
Police said the teacher was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News.
This story was originally published by WTKR in Norfolk, Virginia with additions from Scripps News.