NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — A 15-year-old Virginia boy has been charged in a shooting that wounded two fellow students at their high school, police announced Tuesday.
Newport News police said in a news release that the teen was charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and other weapons-related offenses. The teen was charged Monday as a juvenile, police spokeswoman Kelly King said by email.
Students at Heritage High School were in their second full week of the school year on Monday when the shots rang out before noon, sending students and staff seeking places to hide. A 17-year-old boy was shot in the side of his face and a 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg, Chief Steve Drew said at a news conference. Both students were taken to the hospital and neither injury was thought to be life-threatening, he said. The suspect fled the scene, police said.
In a Facebook Live chat with the community on Tuesday, Drew called the shooting an isolated act. Based on interviews, he said, police believe the suspect didn’t go to school to harm multiple people but he had an issue with two individuals. The firearm was found at the shooting scene, he added.
Video from the scene showed tactical units arriving at the school, frantic parents on sidewalks talking on cellphones as crime scene tape stretched across parts of the school parking lot.
Police responded to the school and searched the building, clearing it room by room, Drew said. They conducted an extensive search of the area after receiving identifying information about the suspect and tips from the community and school personnel, police said.
About three hours after the shooting, a family member took the teen to juvenile services and he was then taken to Newport News police headquarters for an interview, police said in a news release Tuesday.
Drew said two others were taken to the hospital after the shooting: one whose arm was injured as people ran from school and another because of asthma.