Teacher car
The car of the school teacher who was shot Saturday Jan. 2, 2016 in Richmond. Photo: Rodney Alamo Brown

A 52-year-old elementary school teacher who was injured by a stray bullet in Richmond on Jan. 2 remains in the hospital in critical condition, according to police.

The woman, who teaches fourth grade at Berkeley’s Cragmont Elementary School, was shot in the face Saturday night as she was driving on Cutting Boulevard near 22nd Street a little after 6 p.m., according to Lt. Felix Tan of the Richmond Police Department. The woman was knocked unconscious by the shot and crashed her car, according to Winifred Hess, a friend. The teacher’s car crashed into another car, injuring a female passenger, said Hess.

“The victim was driving her vehicle with her partner on Cutting Boulevard when she was caught in gunfire between two individuals,” said Tan. “Unfortunately, she was in the middle of it. She was completely innocent.”

The teacher, who lives in Berkeley, is in critical condition, said Tan. However, she appears to be slowly improving, said Hess, who recently spoke to the teacher’s son and to her former husband.

“It’s getting hopeful,” said Hess. “She is able to respond.”

The teacher was on her way to pick up her teenage son when the shooting occurred, said Hess.

Richmond police inadvertently released the name of the teacher but later asked news media not to use it.

The Berkeley Unified School District sent Berkeley mental health counselors to Cragmont on Monday to help students cope with the news, according to a statement.

Richmond poster

“Our school community is deeply pained by the senseless shooting of [the teacher], a dedicated, generous teacher, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family,” BUSD said in a statement. “We will be working with City of Berkeley Mental Health to ensure the well-being of students and staff at her school.”

The shooting was the second of the day in Richmond and it prompted community members to hold a city-wide rally against gun violence the next day, Jan. 3.

Richmond police have not arrested any suspects in the shooting.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...