A 6-year-old boy from Virginia brought his mom’s pistol to school and shot his teacher in the chest, leaving the educator with life-threatening injuries and making him among the youngest school shooters in U.S. history.

The Newport News police chief has made clear the shooting was no accident, but law enforcement must still answer a tough question: Should the boy, whose young brain is still developing, face criminal charges? How about his mother, who purchased the handgun legally? A school-based liability question emerged late last week when the district superintendent told parents at least one administrator was made aware the first-grader could be in possession of a gun, but none was found when the boy’s backpack was searched. Two hours later, he took aim at his teacher.

Rare but not unprecedented: Intentional shootings carried out by young children are so rare that data about them is hard to come by. Hat tip to Sarah Burd-Sharps, the senior director of research at Everytown for Gun Safety, who pointed me to the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System for some (imperfect) answers.

In 2021, 29 homicides were carried out by children 9 years old or younger, according to the federal database, compared with 2,490 homicides by those 10 to 19 years old. Weapons used in the attacks aren’t specified in the database, but guns were used to carry out two-thirds of youth homicides in 2020, according to the Department of Justice. Another caveat: The FBI database is incomplete, with just 63% of local law enforcement agencies submitting info.

Read the full article about intentional shootings by young children by Mark Keierleber at The 74.