BWC videos show officers helping children on day 6-year-old shot Va. teacher

“Heavenly Father, keep our officers safe, keep our students safe, let us make the decisions we need to make,” an officer says as he drives to Richneck Elementary School


By Sarah Roebuck
Police1

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Newport News Police Department released new videos showing officers responding to Richneck Elementary School on the day a 6-year-old shot a teacher, according to WAVY

In one clip, an officer can be seen leading children down the hallway while cheerfully saying,
In one clip, an officer can be seen leading children down the hallway while cheerfully saying, "We're doing great, keep marching!" (Newport News Police Department)

In one clip, a body-worn camera video shows an officer driving a patrol car on the way to the school on Jan. 6, 2023. While driving there, the officer can be heard praying: “Heavenly Father, keep our officers safe, keep our students safe, let us make the decisions we need to make."

The video then shows the officer exiting his patrol car and running toward the school.

“It’s hard to talk about without getting choked up,” Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew told WAVY. “I know that officer, Officer Watkins, he’s been here awhile, he has a family of his own. I thought it was very fitting to see him exit his vehicle and run toward the school. I think that’s what officers do every day.”

In another clip, an officer can be seen leading children down a hallway while saying, "We're doing great, keep marching. Alright, we're turning this train left, beep, beep." 

Drew told WAVY the officer in that clip, Sgt. Carter, is one of the most highly trained sergeants in the department. Drew said Carter works in SWAT and is one of the best tactical trainers.

“You can’t pay somebody enough for that,” Drew told WAVY. “You can’t train that – that comes from what you feel inside. You have to have a heart for service.”

The next clip shows an officer high-fiving the children as they exit the school.

The short clips from the BWCs were shared as part of a longer video during a memorial ceremony honoring fallen officers to show what can happen to officers on the job on any given day. To watch the full video, click here

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