23 years ago, another 6-year-old boy fired a gun in school. The victim was his classmate

When authorities in Newport News, Virginia, announced on January 6 that a 6-year-old boy brought a gun to school and shot his teacher, sending her to the hospital, the country

was stunned. The city’s mayor said it was nearly impossible to grapple with what happened. The police chief called the case “unprecedented.” But in one Michigan community,

residents were reminded of two other first graders. One of them was Kayla Rolland, a blue-eyed, fiery young girl who loved to dress up and sing with her siblings and cheer

up family members with comedic bits. “If I could describe my sister with a color, she was a yellow,” said her older sister, Elizabeth Krasinski. “She was so full of sunshine.”

The other was the 6-year-old boy who brought a gun to their elementary school nearly 23 years ago and fatally shot Kayla. Her killing plunged the community of

Mount Morris Township into deep grief and gripped national interest for months: Newspapers labeled the student who fired the gun a young “killer,” whose childhood had been marked

by poverty and neglect and who was long surrounded by crime. Others said it was about race: The boy was Black while Kayla was White. Prosecutors received messages from across the

country calling for the boy to be prosecuted. Some called for capital punishment. The interior of Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township is seen in February 2005

from a door window. The school permanently closed to students in 2002. - Carlos Osorio/AP