Published9 hours ago
A six-year-old boy who shot his teacher in a primary school in the US state of Virginia is unlikely to be charged, a prosecutor has said.
But authorities in the city of Newport News have yet to decide if any adult will face criminal charges in the case.
Police have said the child brought the gun in his backpack to Richneck Elementary School on 6 January.
Abigail Zwerner, a 25-year-old teacher, was shot in the hand and chest, but survived.
On Wednesday, Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn told NBC News that his office would not seek charges against the boy.
He said the “prospect that a six-year-old can stand trial is problematic” because the child is too young to understand the legal system.
“Our objective is not just to do something as quickly as possible,” Mr Gwynn added.
“Once we analyse all the facts, we will charge any person or persons that we believe we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt committed a crime.”
In a separate interview with a local ABC News outlet, Mr Gwynn said that the general consensus among US legal experts is that a six-year-old “cannot form the requisite criminal intent to be guilty of an aggravated assault”.
Ms Zwerner is suing the school district after she was shot through her hand and upper chest following what police described as an “altercation” with the first-grader.
The firearm was legally purchased and belonged to the child’s mother, police have said.