A 6-year-old boy opened fire in a classroom at an elementary school in the eastern US state of Virginia on Friday, seriously injuring a teacher, police said.

No students were injured in the incident at Richneck Elementary School in the coastal city of Newport News.

“The individual is a six-year-old student. Right now he is in police custody,” local police chief Steve Drew said at a news conference, adding that “it was not an accidental shooting.”

Police said the victim was a teacher in her 30s and her injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

“I am in shock and discouraged,” said the city’s superintendent of schools, George Parker.

“We need the support of the community to make sure that guns are not available to young people.”

School shootings plague the United States, with recent tragedies including the murder last May of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, by an 18-year-old gunman.

There were an estimated 44,000 gun-related deaths in the United States last year, about half of them cases of murder, accidents and self-defense, and half of them suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive database.


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