[NEWPORT NEWS – APRIL 10, 2023] The Grand Jury for the City of Newport News has returned two indictments related to the January 6, 2023 shooting at Richneck Elementary School. Deja Taylor has been charged with felony child neglect and misdemeanor recklessly leaving a loaded firearm so as to endanger a child.
These charges come after a thorough investigation by Newport News Police Department and this office. Based on that investigation, the Commonwealth’s Attorney determined that the facts and the law support charging Deja Taylor, the mother of the six-year-old child alleged to have shot his teacher at Richneck Elementary School, with these two offenses.
“These charges reflect the gravity of the situation, and are supported by the facts of this particular case.” said Commonwealth’s Attorney, Mr. Howard Gwynn. “Every criminal case is unique in its facts, and these facts support these charges. But our investigation into the shooting continues.”
The Commonwealth’s Attorney has also petitioned the Circuit Court to empanel a special grand jury to continue the investigation into any security failures that may have contributed to this shooting. In accordance with Virginia Law, the grand jury’s work must be confidential, and their investigation will continue as long as necessary to determine whether others are criminally responsible for the shooting of January 6.
“The safety and security of Newport News students is of utmost importance. The Special Grand Jury will investigate to determine whether additional charges against additional persons are justified by the facts and the law.” said Mr. Gwynn. “If the special grand jury determines that additional persons are criminally responsible under the law, it can return additional indictments.” The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all members of our community, particularly our children. Because the integrity of criminal trials is of utmost importance, this office will not respond to media inquiries regarding the facts of this or any other pending criminal case or investigation.