Four students were injured and two are being treated for gunshot wounds.
Students at Heritage High School in Newport News, Virginia, were evacuated to the tennis court after reports of a school shooting Monday morning. The Newport News police responded at 11:38 a.m. EST and discovered that two 17-year-old students were shot by an unidentified suspect on school grounds.
According to Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew, a young boy was shot on the side of his face and a girl was shot in her lower leg. They were taken to the hospital, but are expected to survive their injuries. At least two other individuals were also injured during the incident. One person sustained either a sprained or broken arm while another individual with asthma was hospitalized with breathing issues. Police Chief Drew also stated that a fifth individual may have also gone directly to the hospital with injuries.
In connection to the shooting, a male juvenile was taken into custody at around 3 p.m. EST. Although the police have not released any information about the individual, they have stated that evidence led them to believe the suspect knew the victims. Police Chief Drew added that there was some sort of altercation that led to the shooting at the school and said, "I don't believe that this is an individual that is searching the community to hurt members."
A statement released by the Newport News Police Department after the suspect was in custody stated that the Chief of Police thanks local and federal public safety partners for their assistance in quickly responding to the incident. He also thanked the Newport News Public School System and the local community for their help and support.
The school superintendent, George Parker III said students at Heritage High School will likely return to virtual learning for the next couple of days until the school and law enforcement partners decide that it is safe to return to campus. "That will not happen until we have discussed this matter and looked at better ways to ensure something like this never happens again," he said.
Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam also commented on the incident Monday afternoon. He tweeted a thank you message to the first responders who helped to contain the situation and apprehend the suspect, and added that Virginia has made significant progress to reduce gun violence in the state. In another tweet, he also informed his followers to listen to law enforcement and avoid the area surrounding the school until more information was made available.
Pam and I are grateful to the first responders for their heroic work today in Newport News. Our prayers are with those hospitalized, their families, and the entire community. Virginia has made great strides to reduce gun violence—and we have more work to do.— Governor Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) September 20, 2021
The FBI Newport regional office is also assisting the Newport News Police during the investigation. If you have any information regarding the incident or the suspect, please reach out to the Newport News Police and feel free to share your thoughts and prayers in the comments.