(The Hill) — A 6-year-old elementary school student in Virginia who is accused of shooting his teacher in January will not face charges, authorities told NBC on Wednesday.
Howard Gwynn, the Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney, said his office does not think there is a legal basis to charge a child in the crime, saying the “prospect that a 6-year-old can stand trial is problematic.”
Abigail Zwerner, a first-grade teacher at Richneck Elementary School, was wounded in the shooting that police have characterized as “intentional.” She spent two weeks in a hospital after being shot in the hand and chest, according to the Associated Press.
Gwynn said that his office was instead focusing on possibly charging others in connection with the shooting.
“Our objective is not just to do something as quickly as possible,” Gwynn said. “Once we analyze all the facts, we will charge any person or persons that we believe we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt committed a crime.”
The shooting sparked outrage in the community and led to the ouster of the school system’s superintendent and assistant vice principal.
It was later revealed that administrators were not made aware on the day of the shooting that the child possibly had a weapon. After administrators searched the boy’s backpack and found no weapons, police said they never contacted the authorities about the tip.
The family of the 6-year-old said in a statement after the shooting that he had an “acute disability” and that he was receiving care after a court-ordered temporary detention at a medical facility, according to ABC.