A grand jury in Newport News, Va., has indicted the mother of a 6-year-old who shot and injured his first-grade teacher at an elementary school in January, the authorities said on Monday.
The mother, Deja Taylor, faces one felony charge of child neglect and a misdemeanor charge for child endangerment that involves a loaded weapon, the city’s prosecutor said in a statement. Her son is accused of shooting his teacher once with a handgun in a classroom at Richneck Elementary School, seriously injuring her.
The charges followed an investigation by the Newport News Police Department and the office of the commonwealth’s attorney. James Ellenson, a lawyer representing the child’s family, said Ms. Taylor would turn herself in to the authorities this week, but would not comment further on the charges.
The Jan. 6 shooting in Newport News, a city about 70 miles southeast of Richmond, Va., stunned officials and the community, drawing significant attention because of the child’s age, the school’s response and the boy’s access to the weapon.
The teacher, Abigail Zwerner, had been in the middle of a routine lesson in her first-grade classroom when, the police said, the boy pulled out the gun, aimed it at her and fired. A single bullet passed through her hand and struck her chest.
Days after the shooting, a spokeswoman for the Newport News public school district, Michelle Price, confirmed that a staff member had searched the child’s backpack before the shooting took place “after it was reported that the student may have a weapon.” No weapon was found. Later that month, the school board voted to terminate the contract of the district’s superintendent, George Parker III.
The child has not been charged, and the prosecutor, Howard E. Gwynn, said last month that he would most likely not understand the legal system. The “prospect that a 6-year-old can stand trial is problematic,” Mr. Gwynn said.
But in a statement on Monday, Mr. Gwynn said that he was asking the court to create a special grand jury to investigate possible security issues at the school, and that more indictments might be coming.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.