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A 6-year-old boy is in police custody after shooting a teacher in Virginia, authorities say

(CNN) A 6-year-old boy is in police custody after he shot a teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, on Friday afternoon, according to Police Chief Steve Drew.

“The individual is a 6-year-old student. He is currently in police custody,” Drew said. “We have been in contact with our prosecutor and a few other entities to help provide better services to this young man,” he added.

virginia shooting

Police go to the scene of a shooting in Newport News, Virginia, on January 6, 2023. (Credit: WTVR)

Drew said the teacher, who is in her 30s, was shot inside a classroom, adding that it was “not an accidental shooting.”

The police chief said there was an altercation between the teacher and the student, who had the firearm, and that a single round was fired.

Drew, who had previously said the teacher was in critical condition, said late Friday that her injuries were considered life-threatening, but there was “some improvement in the last update we received.”

There were no other students involved, the police chief said.

The investigation is ongoing, he added.

“We will do the investigation, there are questions that we want to ask and find out. I want to know where that firearm came from, what the situation was,” Drew added.

Richneck Elementary School will be closed Monday, according to Newport News Public Schools Superintendent Dr. George Parker.

“I am in shock and discouraged,” Parker said at Friday’s news conference. “We need to educate our children and we need to keep them safe.”

“We need community support, continued support, to make sure guns are not available to youth and today I sound like a broken record because I keep reiterating that: that we need to keep guns out of the reach of our youth.” said the superintendent.

Officials are also looking into any past instances that may have occurred before the shooting, Parker added.

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