A teacher was shot by 6-year-old student following an altercation at a Virginia elementary school on Friday.
The unidentified woman who was described as being in her 30s was transported to a local hospital. The extent of her injuries is not known at this time, police said.
“[The teacher’s] injuries are still considered life-threatening but there was some improvement [in] the last update we got,” Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew told reporters at a 5:30 p.m. news conference.
No students were injured in the shooting, which occurred at in a first-grade classroom at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, police and school officials said.
The unidentified suspect is in custody, Newport News Public Schools said in a statement, adding, “All of the students are safe.”
The incident took place during an altercation between the teacher and the student, police said without providing more details.
Drew told reporters that the incident was “not an accidental shooting,” and it didn’t appear that student and teacher knew each other beyond the classroom environment.
“We’re beginning the process to reunite parents with students,” the Newport News Police Department said in a statement. “More information will be released when it is available.”
A representative for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told ABC News the agency is assisting in the investigation by tracing the firearm that was recovered on the scene.
The shooting was reported around 2 p.m. inside the school, Drew told reporters.
“We did not have a situation where someone was going around the school shooting,” Drew said. “We have a situation in one particular location where a gunshot was fired.”
Drew called the response from the school’s faculty and staff “heroic” in moving the students to the gymnasium and keeping everyone calm.
“The No. 1 process right now is to make sure we have counselors with our most precious thing we have, right — our students — and to get them back acquainted with their parents. That’s what we’re doing right now,” Drew said.
Newport News is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area in southeastern Virginia, near Norfolk.
Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones was on the scene Friday afternoon and said he would be staying overnight at the hospital.
“It’s been a long day for a lot of people, but at the end of the day the children’s safety is our top priority,” he told reporters.
One parent said her “heart stopped” when she heard the news of a shooting at her 9-year-old son’s school.
“I was freaking out, very nervous, just wondering, was that one person my son,” she said. “But he’s OK.”
Newport News Public Schools Superintendent Dr. George Parker told reporters that the school would be closed on Monday. He reiterated that more needs to be done to stop gun violence in schools.
“I’m sounding like a broken record today because I keep reiterating that we need to keep guns out of the hands of our young people,” he said.
We now have a 6-year-old school shooter on record. What is wrong with America?