A 6-year-old shooter raises difficult questions for the criminal justice system : NPR

Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Va., where a six-year-old student shot and injured his teacher on Friday.

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Jay Paul/Getty Images


Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Va., where a six-year-old student shot and injured his teacher on Friday.

Jay Paul/Getty Images

Police say a 6-year-old student shot his teacher at a Virginia elementary school on Friday, and authorities face a difficult and uncomfortable question: How should they prosecute a crime committed by a first-grader?

The investigation is ongoing into the shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Va., but police have not wavered in their determination that the attack was deliberate.

“She was providing instruction. He displayed a firearm. He pointed it, and he fired one round,” Steve Drew, the city’s police chief, said in a Monday press conference. “This shooting was not accidental. It was intentional.”

Authorities said the child

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