The 6-year-old boy who shot a Virginia school teacher won’t face charges, the Newport News Commonwealth’s prosecutor said on Wednesday.
Howard Gwynn, the city prosecutor, still hasn’t decided whether to criminally charge any adults associated with the shooting.
“Our objective is not just to do something as quickly as possible,” Gwynn said to NBC News. “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.”
Richneck Elementary school teacher Abby Zwerner was hospitalized for two weeks after one of her students shot her in January.
The family of the first grader said the child suffers from “acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.”
NBC News reported:
The city prosecutor in Newport News, Virginia, said Wednesday that he would not seek charges against the 6-year-old boy who shot his elementary school teacher in January but has yet to decide whether any adults associated with the case could be held criminally liable.
In an interview with NBC News, Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn said the “prospect that a 6-year-old can stand trial is problematic” given that a child that young wouldn’t have the competency to understand the legal system and what a charge means or adequately assist an attorney. It’s not unheard of for an adolescent of that age to be arrested in general, and theoretically, a 6-year-old child could be criminally charged under Virginia law.
But Gwynn said that he does not believe there is a legal basis to charge a child and that his office, after receiving the case in February from Newport News police, is focusing on others.