A Virginia mother is facing multiple charges after her six-year-old son shot a teacher at an elementary school. Deja Taylor is charged with felony child neglect and recklessly leaving a loaded firearm in a way that endangers a child. Officials confirmed that a grand jury for the city of Newport News, Virginia, returned the two indictments on Monday.
Authorities allege that the firearm the boy used in the shooting belonged to his mother. “Every criminal case is unique in its facts, and these facts support these charges, but our investigation into the shooting continues,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney for Newport News, Howard Gwynn.
The boy brought the weapon to school and shot a teacher, who was rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The incident occurred at the beginning of the school day at Heritage High School. Police quickly took the boy into custody, and the school was placed on lockdown for a brief period.
This tragedy is a reminder of the importance of gun safety, especially in households with children. Parents and guardians should ensure firearms are stored securely and out of reach of children. Gun safety education is also essential to preventing incidents like this one.
The incident has shaken the Newport News community and raised questions about the safety of schools. The school division issued a statement saying that “the safety of our students and staff remains our top priority,” and that counseling services would be available for those impacted by the incident.
It is a relief that the teacher survived the shooting and that the young boy did not cause any more harm. However, it is a sobering reminder of the responsibility that comes with owning firearms and the need for education and safety measures to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.