A school official went through a 6-year-old Virginia child’s backpack before shooting. Now the school will install metal detectors

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CNN

Richneck Elementary School in Virginia will install metal detectors after authorities were alerted last week that a 6-year-old student who allegedly shot his teacher might have a gun but was unable to find it after a search.

Prior to the shooting of a first grade teacher last week, school officials were told the child may have brought a gun to school, according to Newport News Public Schools Superintendent George Parker.

At least one school administrator was notified early on Jan. 6, the day of the shooting, of the gun’s possible presence, Parker told school families during a town hall meeting on Thursday, according to an email sent told CNN by school district spokeswoman Michelle. Price.

Parker also said a search of the boy’s backpack turned up nothing.

Price told The Washington Post in an email Thursday night that he didn’t know who initially reported the student might have a gun.

Authorities also don’t know where the gun was hidden during the search of the child’s backpack, Price said late on Thursday.

The decision to install metal detectors was announced by Newport News School Board President Lisa R. Surles-Law at a news conference Thursday.

The school board ordered the metal detectors for Richneck immediately to take students back to the building, Surles-Law said. The school has been closed since last Friday’s shooting.

The gun involved was legally purchased by the child’s mother, authorities said. The boy carried the firearm from his home to school in his backpack on Friday, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said on Monday.

The teacher was “teaching a class when the 6-year-old produced a firearm, pointed it at her and fired a shot,” Drew told a news conference. “There was no physical struggle or fighting.”

The teacher was shot in the chest and is in stable condition, he said.

The boy was under temporary detention and being evaluated at a hospital. School officials did not release the names of the child or mother.

This was the first shooting of 2023 at a school in the United States, according to analysis by CNN. In 2022, there were 60 K-12 school shootings.

According to the K-12 School Shooting Database, which contains information on school shootings in the US dating back to the 1970s, there have been three other cases where the suspect was as young as 6 years old, and all have occurred since 2000.

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