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Local leaders react to school shooting at Heritage High in Newport News

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Posted at 3:57 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 16:54:48-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A shooting took place at Heritage High School in Newport News Monday morning.

Two teens were shot: One male was shot in the side of the face, and the other was a female who was shot in the lower leg, police said, adding that neither sustained what are considered life-threatening injuries.

Police say a suspect is now in custody. He is a minor.

Local leaders are now reacting to the senseless act of violence that took place.

Governor Northam

Senator Mark Warner

Newport News Mayor Price

Delegate Mike Mullin

Senseless acts like these are nothing short of terrible. At least two lives are changed forever and hundreds more are deeply affected. My love, care, and prayers are with all @HeritageHS Canes.

Shameka N. Gerald, EdD., Director of Equity, Assessment & Strategic Operations

Delegate Shelly Simonds, Virginia House District 94

I was truly heartbroken when I heard about today’s shooting. As an educator, this was always one of my deepest fears. I am keeping all the families, students, and educators at Heritage High School close to my heart as the situation develops. This is also a heartbreaking reminder of what happens when we do not enact common-sense gun safety laws- our kids pay the consequences.

Kids deserve to be safe at school, end of story. I will not rest until every single Newport News student, and every Virginian, is able to live their daily life without fear of another shooting like the one we saw today.
Delegate Shelly Simonds, Virginia House District 94

Rep. Bobby Scott:

My thoughts are with all the victims, their loved ones, and the entire community at Heritage High School. And I want to commend the Newport News Police Department for their response. While the news crews will eventually leave the scene, many of the students and faculty will carry this event with them for the rest of their lives.

It is a cruel irony that schools have only just returned to the classroom for full-time instruction since the start of the pandemic and we are already grappling with another act of senseless of gun violence. We have an obligation to do everything possible to end the horrific pervasiveness of gun violence in schools and in our communities.
Rep. Bobby Scott, 3rd Congressional District

Del. Cia Price

What happened today is a tragedy. My heart goes out to the Heritage High School and Huntington Middle School students, families, teachers, and staff impacted; and to our whole community who are confronting yet another example of gun violence. Our young people deserve a safe learning environment where they can prepare for their future and thrive; not to have to fear yet another person with a gun. This cannot become the new normal.

It is so very important that we connect with these students and students all across our city and let them know that they are not alone, that we are supporting them, and that we are invested in their future. And we should encourage everyone to seek the mental health resources they need as we all process these events. Our community has proven time and time again how resilient we are, but we cannot and should not allow a community's strength to take the place of our collective responsibility to prevent gun violence.

I've been in touch with local leaders here, and we are on the same page: this cannot happen again, and we are committed to wrapping our services and our arms around these students.