15-year-old male charged with shooting 2 students at Newport News high school
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Newport News police in Virginia say they have arrested a 15-year-old male in connection to a shooting at Heritage High School that left two students with non-life-threatening injuries Monday.
Authorities said the suspected teenaged gunman is charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and other weapons-related offenses.
Authorities haven’t released the suspect’s name but said a family member turned in him at juvenile services where he was transported to Newport News Police Headquarters. It is not known if he was a student at the school, which is located about 30 miles northwest of Norfolk.
On Monday, officers responded to the school at 11:30 a.m. after receiving reports about an individual with a gun. Police said two 17-year-olds were found shot. Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said one boy was shot in the side of the face and a girl was shot in her lower leg.
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Authorities believe the suspected gunman knew the victims.
Drew also said that at least two other individuals were taken to hospitals. He said one person had either a sprained or broken arm possibly after falling amid the rush to get out of the school and another person with asthma had breathing issues.
"It is by the grace of God there was no loss of life," Drew said. "We know this will be difficult to process for everyone involved and hope students, families, and faculty members take advantage of the resources that have been made available to help them cope with what happened yesterday at Heritage High School."
George Parker, superintendent of Newport News Public Schools, said the high school does random searches for guns. Classes resumed on Sept. 8, so students were in their second full week of the school year.
"No superintendent, no teacher or principal would want to ever go through this situation," Parker said. "Just seeing the faces of our students and how afraid they were under these circumstances, and our staff, who are traumatized. ... No one would want to through these circumstances."
Police said they received reports of active shooters at other schools in the area but later said that information was false.
Support teams will be available as counselors for students.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Check back for updates.