People gather outside Richneck Elementary School, where according to the police, a six-year-old boy shot and wounded a teacher, in Newport News, Virginia, US on Jan 6, in this screen grab from a handout video.

A six-year-old boy opened fire in an elementary school classroom in the eastern state of Virginia in the United States on Friday, seriously injuring a teacher, police said.

No students were hurt in the incident at Richneck Elementary School in the coastal city of Newport News.

“The individual is a six-year-old student. He is right now in police custody,” local police chief Steve Drew told a news conference, adding that “this was not an accidental shooting”.

Police said that the victim was a teacher in her 30s and her injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

“I’m in shock, and I’m disheartened,” said the city’s superintendent of schools, George Parker.

“We need the community’s support to make sure that guns are not available to youth.”

School shootings plague the US, with recent tragedies including the killing of seven university students in November 2022 after violence struck two campuses in the states of Idaho and Virginia.

Another major incident took place in May last year, when an 18-year-old gunman shot dead 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. The Texas shooting was the deadliest at a US grade school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012.

There were an estimated 44,000 gun-related deaths in the US last year — about half of them murder cases, accidents and self-defense, and half of them suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive database.


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