6-year-old child who shot teacher took gun from mother, police say

6-year-old child who shot teacher took gun from mother, police say

6-year-old child who shot teacher took gun from mother, police say

Police in Newport News, Va., provided new details Monday about the elementary school teacher shooting allegedly by a 6-year-old student.

The shooting, which police say “was intentional,” took place at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News on Friday, January 6. The teacher, identified as 25-year-old Abigail Zwerner, was teaching a lesson when the child pulled out the gun. , Police Chief Steve Drew said at a press conference.

The teacher “took a defensive position” and raised her hand, Drew said; the bullet passed through his hand and entered his chest. She remains hospitalized and is said to be in stable condition.

Police briefing on 6-year-old accused of shooting teacher: ‘This shooting was intentional’


That shot was the only one fired, Drew said. He said there was no physical fight between the teacher and the student. The child was using a Taurus 9mm firearm, which Drew described as a handgun.

Police say the gun was purchased legally by the child’s mother. The child brought the gun to school in his backpack, but Drew said the gun was on the child’s body, not taken from his backpack, at the time of the shooting. shooting. Drew declined to provide information on how the gun was secured in the house.

“I wish we never had to (ask) … how does a 6-year-old know how to use a gun? I don’t know if I can give you an adequate answer,” Drew said. “It’s unprecedented. I don’t know how to answer that question.”

Richneck Elementary School
Students and police gather outside Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Va., after a shooting Friday.

Billy Schuerman/The Virginia Pilot via AP

After Zwerner was shot, she was able to evacuate the children from her class. Drew said he watched security footage showing the “17 to 20” children in the room spilling out into the hallway and into a nearby classroom. Zwerner was the last person to leave the class, he said, calling her a “heroine”.

“It was heroic the way the students were taken care of,” Drew said.

An unidentified school official entered the classroom and restrained the child, police said, while Zwerner called for help in the administrative offices. Police said they received a call about the shooting at 1:59 p.m. and the first officers arrived on the scene five minutes later. The rest of the school was systematically evacuated and the parents were reunited with their children. Students who were in the classroom where the shooting took place were taken to the school library, where they met with detectives and mental health professionals.

Richneck Elementary School has canceled classes for the week, school superintendent Dr. George Parker III said, adding that the school and district will learn from the incident to install more safeguards against gun violence. .

“In no way do I think we were fully prepared for a 6-year-old bringing a gun to school and shooting his teacher,” Parker said.

The child is being treated at a medical facility, Drew said. An emergency custody order has been obtained and a judge will have to determine “next steps” within 96 hours of the time of the shooting.

6-year-old teacher shot dead at Virginia school, police say


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