“I can’t control access to guns,” Dr. Parker said. “My teachers cannot control access to guns.” He added, “Today our students got a lesson in gun violence and what guns can do to disrupt not only the educational environment, but the family, the community.”
Dr Parker said the school would be closed on Monday “as we work on the mental health of our staff and our students”.
The shooting in Newport News, a city of more than 180,000 people, about 70 miles southeast of Richmond. Virginia, stunned officials as they began to investigate what went wrong at the school.
“I’m in shock, and I’m in awe, and I’m disheartened,” Dr. Parker said.
Newport News Mayor Philip Jones said at a news conference that while the shooting is “still raw,” the city is taking steps to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
Curtis Bettany, a city councilman, said Newport News is dealing with “uncharted” territory. “I’ve never heard of a 6-year-old going to school with a loaded gun.”
Incidents at schools involving a shooter this young are extremely rare.
David Ridman, who founded K-12 School Shooting Database after the 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, has compiled data on every school shooting — every time a firearm is fired on school property — since 1970. It found 16 cases involving shooters under the age of 10.
Three of them have 6-year-old children. Two of them were declared accidental shootings: one in 2011 in an primary school in Houston, where a student fired a gun, wounding three people; and another in Mississippi in 2021, when a first-grader shot a classmate with a gun he had brought to school and was playing with. In the third casethat drew national attention, a 6-year-old boy shot and killed a young girl while the teacher was lining up students in the hallway.
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