Shooting at Va. High School Leaves 2 Students Wounded

A shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News, Va., left two 17-year-old students—one boy and one girl—wounded on Monday. News sources report that the boy was shot on the side of the face while the girl was shot in the leg. Both students were transported to the hospital, and neither injury was considered life-threatening. The suspect from the shooting is in custody, said Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew.

The suspected shooter, also a juvenile, was arrested several hours later, away from the school. Authorities have not yet disclosed whether he was a Heritage student or not. They did say that the three teenagers knew each other but provided no further details. “I don’t want to tell you about motive right now until I get that shored up,” said Drew, “but I don’t think this was an individual that just came here as some random act—the individuals knew each other, and we’ll get to the reason why it happened.”

News reports state that the incident occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, and sent students running for cover. In addition to the shooting-related injuries, one student sprained a wrist and another experienced an asthma attack during the aftermath. The school immediately went into lockdown, said Superintendent George Parker.

State police, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined Newport News police at the scene. Law enforcement officers swept through the building and escorted students to the campus tennis courts for reunification. The search took about two hours, according to local news.

“No superintendent, no teacher or principal would ever want to go through this situation,” said Parker. “Just seeing the faces of our students and how afraid they were under these circumstances and our staff who were traumatized … No one would want to go through those circumstances.”

Police are still investigating the incident, and although details haven’t been made public, authorities believe they have discovered a potential motive for the incident. “The motive is certainly interesting to me,” said Drew at a press briefing.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at