Authorities said that no students were hurt in the incident at Richneck Elementary School in the coastal city of Newport News.
“The individual is a six-year-old student. He is right now in police custody,” local police chief Steve Drew told a news conference, adding that “this was not an accidental shooting.”
The teacher, a woman in her 30s suffered life-threatening injuries.
The boy was taken into custody by the police, however, no further information was provided about the child and the shooting.
According to Drew, the boy had a handgun in the classroom. Investigators were trying to figure out where he obtained it. It is believed that the child fired the shot after an altercation, however, it remains unclear what triggered the altercation.
Drew said the student and teacher had known each other in a classroom setting.
“We have been in contact with our commonwealth’s attorney [local prosecutor] and some other entities to help us best get services to this young man,” Drew said.
Newport News is a city of about 185,000 people in southeastern Virginia known for its shipyard.
“I’m in shock, and I’m disheartened,” said the city’s superintendent of schools, George Parker. “We need the community’s support to make sure that guns are not available to youth.”
An investigation is currently underway into the incident. It remains unclear how and what charges will be placed against the 6-year-old responsible for the shooting incident.