New details have emerged after a 6-year-old boy shot his teacher inside a classroom at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. The Associated Press reported on Friday (Jan. 13) that at least one school official was informed that the child may have had a weapon before the shooting occurred.
As previously reported by REVOLT, the student and educator were involved in a dispute when a single shot was fired on Jan. 6. The teacher, who was later identified as Abigail Zwerner, was wounded in the chest. The 25-year-old was in critical condition, but has since shown signs of improvement and is now listed in stable condition. The child was arrested.
Michelle Price, a spokesperson for the Newport News school district, confirmed that the boy’s backpack was searched on that fateful day. “The student’s book bag was searched at that point after it was reported that he may have a weapon. Nothing was found in the backpack,” she said. However, two hours later, the boy wounded his teacher. Price added, “I’m not able to comment on whether other searches may have occurred, except for the fact that the superintendent has shared that the student’s backpack was searched and nothing was found at the time.”
Kelly King, a spokesperson for the Newport News Police Department, said the agency was not informed of a possible weapon being on campus before the near-fatal incident unfolded. Police have not disclosed where they believe the gun was hidden. They did, however, disclose that the weapon was legally purchased and belonged to the boy’s mother.
As a result of the harrowing experience, the school district has decided to install metal detectors at each of its campuses, starting with Richneck Elementary. During a town hall hosted by Superintendent Dr. George Parker on Thursday (Jan. 12), he told parents, “We’ve been in contact with Uvalde in Texas, who have been very gracious in communicating with us.” The Texas town was the site of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting, which left two teachers and 19 students dead and 17 others injured.
View the school district’s latest update below.