US: School of 6-year-old who shot teacher knew he might have been armed

He had been taken into custody, is 6 years old. 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 but found nothing, local authorities told AFP on Friday.

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. During 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 in advance “of the possible presence of a weapon” in this student’s schoolbag.

He told them that “the bag had been searched by an employee (…) and that no weapon had been found”, reported his spokeswoman Michelle Price, confirming information from the local channel Wavy TV. “A school employee was made aware of the possible presence of a weapon prior to the shooting, but Newport News police were not alerted,” law enforcement spokeswoman Kelly said. King. Authorities did not say how they knew the student might be armed.

“Intentional” shooting, the parents could be charged

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 described the shooting as “intentional”. 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 last tragedy dates back to May, when a teenager killed 19 children and two teachers in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. 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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