United States. School of 6-year-old boy who shot his mistress knew he might have been armed

The American school where a six-year-old child shot his teacher had been warned beforehand that he might be armed and had searched his bag without finding anything, local authorities told AFP on Friday January 13.

A week ago, a first-grade student at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, East Virginia, seriously injured his mistress Abigail Zwerner, 25, with a pistol legally purchased by his mother.

Read also: United States. Another shooting kills four in Oklahoma

Authorities informed

In a virtual meeting Thursday evening with the parents of the establishment, the person in charge of the school authorities, George Parker, revealed to them that the school had been informed beforehand “of the possible presence of a weapon” in that student’s school bag.

He told them that “the bag had been searched by an employee (…) and no weapon had been found”spokeswoman Michelle Price told AFP, confirming information from local channel Wavy TV.

“A school employee had been informed of the possible presence of a weapon before the shooting, but the Newport News police had not been alerted”police spokeswoman Kelly King told AFP.

Authorities did not say how they knew the student might be armed.

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Child removed from family

A few hours after this search, the child brandished a 9mm Taurus pistol and opened fire on his teacher. His condition was critical at the time of his hospitalization, but then stabilized.

The local authorities have decided to temporarily withdraw custody of the child from his parents and have him admitted to a medical center, pending a decision on possible prosecution.

Given his young age, he should be considered criminally irresponsible, even though police called the shooting a“intentional”.

Possible indictment of parents

His parents, on the other hand, could be charged with violating a local law that prohibits leaving loaded weapons accessible to children under 14 years of age.

The United States, where nearly 400 million weapons are in circulation, is regularly bereaved by shootings in schools. The latest tragedy dates back to May, when a teenager killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Read also: United States. Ten dead in a shooting in Buffalo, New York

But it is very rare that shooters are so young. About fifteen children under the age of ten have opened fire in schools since the 1970s, according to the database of researcher David Riedman, who is a reference on the subject.

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