Howard Gwynn, Commonwealth Prosecutor of Newport News told NBC News on Wednesday that “the prospect of a 6-year-old being tried is problematic”.
Gwynn doubted that a young child could understand the legal system, what a charge meant or how to properly assist a lawyer.
Although a 6-year-old could theoretically be criminally charged under Virginia law, Gwynn said not believing that there is a legal basis to charge the child.
“Our goal isn’t just to get something done as quickly as possible,” Gwynn said. “Once we have analyzed all the facts, we will charge anyone or people who we believe can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they have committed a crime.”
On January 6, the unnamed boy allegedly brought a 9mm handgun to school and intentionally shot his first grade teacher, Abby Zwernerwhile she was teaching the class.
The shooting happened during the first week when the child was not accompanied by either parent, according to the parents’ statement.