Police release video of response to Virginia school where teacher was shot

Police shared unseen video of police responding to the Jan. 6 elementary school shooting, when a 6-year-old boy shot his teacher. (WTKR)
Published: May. 13, 2023 at 2:53 PM EDT
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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WTKR) - Newport News police gathered Thursday to remember 12 of their officers killed in the line of duty over the last century.

During the ceremony, police shared publicly unseen video of officers responding to Richneck Elementary School in January when a 6-year-old student shot his teacher.

The snippet of video shows toofficers found a unique way to lead the kids to safety.

Officer Clark Carter was one of those who helped the other students.

“Our goal was to give them something that would take their mind off of what just occurred. My idea was to pretend we were riding motorcycles, and you got all the kids to put their hands up and pretend they were riding motorcycles and we were revving our engines and we were rolling down the hallways. It seemed to help. It took their mind off of what occurred and they were just playing a game,” Carter says.

According to the officer, it took hours to lead the kids from their classrooms to the gym.

“It was nerve-wracking and we knew we had to get there so we can protect the kids,” Carter adds.

The only details Carter says he knew once the call was made were that there was a shooting at the elementary school, an incident he says was personal to him.

“I am one of our active threat instructors and one of my things is personal to me because I have kids that go to school in this city and I want somebody to respond the way I would respond to save their child, to save mine,” Carter says.

Incidents like the one at Richneck Elementary School are a harsh reminder of the dangers that police say officers face every day on the job.

“It’s hard for me to put in words the things that officers see today, things I wish they never have to respond to,” Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew says.

The department has lost 12 officers since 1919. The most recent was officer Katie Thyne, who lost her life in 2020 during a traffic stop.

Twelve portraits with roses were dedicated to each fallen officer.

“We’re not always going to get it right, but our No. 1 goal is to protect our community,” Carter says.

The mother of the 6-year-old boy in the shooting is charged with felony child neglect and a misdemeanor count of recklessly storing a firearm.

The bullet hit the teacher in her hand and shoulder. She has been released from the hospital and is still recovering at home.