Like many other American cities before it, Newport News, Virginia, is this month dealing with the aftermath of a school shooting. This time, however, the suspected shooter is just 6 years old, according to police, who said the child opened fire in a classroom at Richneck Elementary school, sending a wounded teacher to the hospital. The age of the suspected shooter has left a community and country reeling from the news that a first grader allegedly obtained a gun, brought it to school and shot his teacher. Authorities have provided general information about the shooting. But there are numerous questions that remain unanswered – including how a 6-year-old could gain possession of a weapon and what the potential legal repercussions for the student or his parents might be. The family of the boy has released a statement saying the gun had been secured and the child has an acute disability that meant one of his parents was usually in class with him. Here’s a look at what we know – and don’t know – about the January 6 shooting. Student was taken into police custody Officials have released few details about the student publicly, aside from the fact he is 6. He was taken into police custody immediately after the shooting, police Chief Steve Drew said in a news conference at the time, adding no other students were involved. The boy was under a temporary detention order and was being evaluated at a hospital, police said January 9. The shooting was not accidental, Drew said previously, and he told reporters the teacher was “providing class instruction when the child displayed a firearm, pointed it at her and fired one round.” “There was no physical struggle or fight,” he said. Police received the call that a teacher had been shot at 1:59 p.m., Drew said. When officers entered the classroom five minutes later, the boy was being restrained by a school employee, police said. He was combative and struck the employee restraining him. Officers escorted him from the building and into a police car. The gun – which was legally purchased by the 6-year-old’s mother – was taken by the child from his home, Drew said. The child brought it to school in his backpack. It is unclear how the child accessed the weapon. Teacher was hospitalized for days Officials identified the victim as Abigail Zwerner, a 25-year-old teacher who has been praised for her actions after being shot – including ensuring her students were safe. “When I met with Abigail’s family on Saturday and they took me up to her room, she asked me, first question, ‘Do you know how my students are?’” Drew said. “She was worried about them.” Her injuries were initially described as life-threatening, but she was released “earlier this week,” Riverside Regional Medical Center spokesperson Angela Arcieri said in a Thursday email. “She continues her recovery as an outpatient with the support of family, friends, and health professionals. The Zwerner family respectfully asks for privacy during this time,” Arcieri wrote. Zwerner – who is described as a first-grade teacher in Richneck Elementary’s online staff directory – was shot in the chest after the bullet passed through one of her hands, the chief said. “But she was still able to get all of her students out of that classroom,” Drew said, noting surveillance footage showed students running into the classroom across the hall. A GoFundMe page organized by Zwerner’s twin sister has raised more than $225,000 since it was created. Child’s family says he has a disability On Thursday, the family of the 6-year-old released a statement through their attorney, saying they grieve for the people impacted by the shooting and regret not being at school with their child. “Our son suffers from an acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to Class every day,” the family said. But the week of the shooting was the first when they weren’t in class with him. “We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives,” they said. The gun allegedly used in the shooting was secured before the incident, they said. “Our family has always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children.” Attorney James Ellenson would not comment when asked about how the gun was secured and how the child had access to it the day of the shooting. The family praised Zwerner’s work, calling her diligent and compassionate in her teaching of their son. The statement thanked her for her courage, grace and sacrifice. “We grieve alongside all of the other teachers, families and administrators for how this horrific incident has impacted them, our community, and the nation,” they said. Student is likely too young to stand trial, expert says It’s unclear what legal consequences the student may or may not face. While it’s technically possible for prosecutors to file charges against a 6-year-old in Virginia, which does not have a statutory age limit, “it is incredibly unlikely that it would lead to a successful prosecution,” said Andrew Block, an associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. The main hurdle, Block said, is a defendant must be found competent to stand trial – meaning the court must find the defendant is able to both understand the nature of the legal proceedings against him and assist his lawyers in his own defense. “It’s virtually impossible to imagine that a 6-year-old would meet either of the criteria necessary to find competency,” said Block, who is also former director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. Hypothetically, if prosecutors did file charges, the 6-year-old’s attorneys would have available to them the “infancy defense,” Block said, which essentially says anyone under the age of 7 can never be found criminally responsible. The student is also likely too young for a detention center if he were to be found guilty, Block told CNN. “The juvenile justice system is not set up to handle kids this young,” he said. The courts would have limited options in Virginia, where one must be 11 years old to be held in custody in a state facility, Block said. That leaves open other possibilities, such as residential treatment or “wraparound” support services for the family. Alternatively, the student could be found to be a “child in need of services,” Block said, which would mean the child was “engaging in behavior that puts either themselves or others at serious risk of harm,” and the courts could step in to make sure the child received the needed services. “Given the little that we know, that seems like it would be a more expedient, appropriate and hopefully productive path for people to pursue if it ends up going to court at all,” Block said. Too early to know if parents face repercussions It’s “hard to speculate” about what might happen to the parents without knowing how the 6-year-old obtained the gun, Block told CNN on January 9 – before a news conference in which the police chief confirmed the gun was taken by the child from his home. There is a scenario where the parents could be held criminally liable if they did not keep the weapon properly locked up and safely out of the hands of their child. But in Virginia, that’s only a Class 1 misdemeanor. “But we just don’t know right now how he came into possession of the gun, why he wanted the gun, what the context of this whole tragedy is,” Block said. “So it’s hard to know if there’s criminal liability or not, and who should have it.” It was “certainly a possibility” the mother could face charges, Drew told “CNN This Morning” on January 10. But authorities continue to investigate, he said, noting they were checking for any possible history with Child Protective Services. “And at the end of the day, when that’s all compiled together and the facts and what the law supports, the Commonwealth’s attorney will make the decision if there are any charges forthcoming … towards the parents,” Drew said. The family statement said they are cooperating with investigators.