In an incredibly shocking turn of events a 6-year-old student at a Virginia elementary school shot and injured a teacher Friday. This is according to authorities who provided more information about the shooting and the condition of the teacher in a news conference on Saturday.
A 6 year old shoots a teacher in the US after an altercation. pic.twitter.com/5fmAdMgDvK
— ➖ OCN ➖ (@ozcrimenews) January 7, 2023
Police made it clear that the shooting was not accidental. The 6-year-old had a purpose and a target. Now the question is what will happen to the student. Experts across all news outlets have weighed in as it is incredibly rare that a child this young would be accused of intentionally shooting someone.
Officials in Newport News, Virginia, explained that the child and the teacher had an “altercation” before the incident. At the time a single shot was fired in a first-grade classroom at Richneck Elementary School on Friday afternoon.
“We did not have a situation where someone was going around the school shooting. We had a situation in one particular location where a gunshot was fired,” Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said.
6-year-old shoots teacher. How sad! pic.twitter.com/KOpUe2RwBx
— Nancy 👩🏾🏫 (@nancytaughtyou) January 7, 2023
At the time of the shooting, it was reported that the teacher, a woman in her 30s, had life-threatening injuries. However, Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones told media outlets on Saturday afternoon that she was in “stable condition and trending in a positive direction.”
Moving forward what many are speculating on is what will happen to the child. If the 6- year-old assailant were to be charged, a defense attorney could argue a common law defense of infancy. This means the child is too young to understand the ramifications of what he’s done.
Legal experts Block and DiCorrado explained in a USA Today article that the child would have to also be found competent by a court, meaning he could assist in his own defense, which is unlikely with a 6-year-old.
What is more likely is that authorities might file a petition stating he is a child in need of services such as counseling. Authorities will most likely focus on providing services to the boy in the interest of rehabilitation rather than punishment.