In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, Veronica McQueen said that when she was called a week ago and told that her daughter, Kayla Rolland, was injured, she thought the girl had broken her arm or leg. But when she got to the hospital and saw a minister, she knew that something much worse had happened.
"I just don't want to see another parent have to bury another baby over this, over something that is preventable, something that is very, very preventable," McQueen said in her first interview about the shooting. McQueen was interviewed in Washington, where she was to meet with President Clinton.
The shooting happened at a school in Mount Morris Township, near Flint. The little boy suspected of killing Kayla was living in what prosecutors describe as a crack house.
McQueen said Kayla had told her days before the shooting that a boy was picking on her. She told Kayla to talk to her teachers, and that, if they didn't do anything, to tell her and she would go talk to them.
When McQueen was asked whom she holds responsible for the shooting, her lawyer, J. Dallas Winegarden, interjected, saying that the investigation is continuing. "We have to do justice for Kayla and her family," he said.
No charges are expected against the boy, who authorities have said is too young to understand what happened. "He needs help--he needs to seek counseling," McQueen said today. "I hope he gets what he needs, I really do."
"I just couldn't imagine how a six-year-old baby could bring a gun into school and nobody seen it," she said.
A 19-year-old man living at the house where the boy had been staying has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly allowing the boy access to the gun. McQueen recalled what happened when she learned Kayla had died.
"They told me she was shot by another baby, another child her age," McQueen said. "I sort of lost it. I got very upset. I was screaming."
The boy told police that Kayla had slapped him on the arm, Mount Morris Township Police Chief Eric King said Monday. The police chief said the boy decided to take the gun to school "to scare her."
Classes resumed Monday at Buell Elementary School. Room 6, where the shooting happened, received a fresh coat of paint, and counselors were on hand. The suspect was not at Buell, or any other school, on Monday, and officials said they are determining his next step.