A 6-year-old student at an elementary school in Newport News, Va., shot a teacher during a classroom brawl Friday afternoon, officials said, leaving him with “life-threatening” injuries and more gunshot wounds. Call restriction from.

Newport News Police Department Chief Steve Drew said at a news conference that the student was in police custody as of Friday evening while authorities figure out next steps.

Dr. George Parker, Superintendent of Newport News Public Schools, told the news conference that “we need to keep guns out of the hands of our youth.”

“I can’t control access to weapons,” Dr. Parker said. “My teachers can’t control access to weapons.” “Today our students got a lesson in gun violence and how guns can disrupt not only an educational environment but also a family, a community,” he said.

Dr. Parker said the school will remain closed on Monday “as we work on the mental health of our staff and our students.”

The shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, a city of more than 180,000 people about 70 miles southeast of Richmond. Officials were shocked when they launched an investigation into what had gone wrong inside the school.

“I’m in shock, and I’m in awe, and I’m disappointed,” Dr. Parker said.

Newport News Mayor Philip Jones said that while the shooting was “still raw”, the city was taking steps to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

The violent episode in Newport News underscored the continuing threat of gun violence in schools across the country. In May, 19 children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. In September, another school shooting in Oakland, California left six injured.

Photos and video taken shortly after the shooting in Newport News on Friday showed the chaos that officers surrounded the school’s brick building: Children appeared scared and confused, parents stood near crime scene tape And dozens of officers were patrolling the area.

Chief Drew said that school officials had acted quickly to get all students and teachers into the school gymnasium, and that officials were in contact with attorneys to determine how to proceed.

Dr. James J., President of the Virginia Education Association. Federman said in a Statement He was “saddened that we must respond to yet another school shooting here in Virginia.”

Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, said: “We send all our hopes for the full recovery of the teacher who was injured in another horrific act of gun violence in our schools. But today we are again shocked by another school shooting. are discussing the incident. It will not stop until elected leaders take consequential action and stand up against the gun lobby to stop gun violence in our communities and at school.

Dr. Parker said that although district schools have “metal detection capability,” the schools do not let children walk through metal detectors every day.

“If we have a threat or a problem, we do random metal detection on those days,” he said.

Still, he insisted that guns appear on campus because of “outreach in the community.”

“This is not a Newport News problem,” he said. “It’s a much bigger and broader problem than what we’re seeing today.”

Christopher Fair Contributed reporting.

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