Photo: Jay Paul/ Stringer via Getty Images
  /  01.22.2023

Richneck Elementary School administrators are accused of not taking appropriate actions to address the behavior of a 6-year-old who shot a teacher earlier this month.

As previously reported, the child was arrested after he used a 9mm gun to shoot first-grade teacher Abigail Zwerner in her hand and upper chest on Jan. 6. The educator and pupil were reportedly involved in a dispute of some sort when the shots were fired. No one else was injured. “This was not an accidental shooting,” said Police Chief Steve Drew as he noted the child deliberately pulled the trigger.

Zwerner was initially listed in critical condition but has since made strides in her recovery. A week after the horrifying incident, Newport News Public Schools Superintendent Dr. George Parker disclosed that at least one administrator received a tip the boy may have brought a weapon to school that day. His backpack was searched, but the gun was not located. Police have not shared with the public where the gun was hidden, however, they did determine it was registered to the boy’s mother.

On Saturday (Jan. 21), The Washington Post reported that the 25-year-old educator previously notified administrators of her growing concerns about the boy’s actions, which included throwing furniture and objects in the classroom. On a separate occasion, the child allegedly gave another teacher a note stating he wanted to light her body on fire and watch her die. A representative for the teachers’ union told The Post the concerns were not taken seriously.

The elementary student is currently in emergency custody at a medical facility. His family spoke out for the first time last week. “Our heart goes out to our son’s teacher, and we pray for her healing in the aftermath of such an unimaginable tragedy as she selflessly served our son and the children in the school,” they said in a statement released to media.

View the related report below.


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