Judge orders mental competency evaluation for 15-year-old accused in Heritage High shooting in Newport News

School Watch

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The 15-year-old boy accused of shooting two 17-year-old students at Heritage High School in Newport News last month will undergo a psychological evaluation before his case proceeds in court.

Newport News Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Travis White confirmed Wednesday that a judge ordered a competency evaluation for the boy.

When a competency evaluation is requested, the defendant must be evaluated by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist before they are able to proceed in the case. The evaluation ensures the accused is able to participate in their defense and understand court proceedings and the charges against them.

The shooting happened Sept. 20 just after a lunch period. Court documents said the boy allegedly opened fire in a hallway after getting into a physical fight with one of his victims.

Both 17-year-olds survived the incident.

The 15-year-old is charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, as well as underage possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm on school property, discharging a firearm on school property, discharging a firearm in an occupied building, reckless handling of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.

The 15-year-old was part of an electronic monitoring program through Newport News Juvenile Services. The video showed the 15-year-old was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet at the time of the shooting.

Heritage High School has set up a Support Hotline for those affected by the shooting. Those needing help can call 757-283-7868.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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