A mother at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, says her son ran to another classroom where he and his classmates were put on lockdown after a 6-year-old classmate was said to have shot the teacher.
Police haven’t said what started the fight between the student and teacher or what else happened in the classroom because they are still looking into it. However, a parent told the Washington Post that first-grade teacher Abby Zwerner had just finished reading a story and was about to start an art lesson when the child pulled out the gun.
Gregory said, “She was going to take it away, and that’s when he shot.” Another parent told a local news outlet that before the shooting, he had talked to school staff about safety concerns.
“It could have been prevented if we would have something in place for security,” Richneck parent Mark Anthony Garcia Sr. told WAVY-TV. “They have cameras out here, but No. 1, there were no metal detectors to go through the school. Not only were there no metal detectors, but there also wasn’t a big security presence, security guards there. They have some there, but it’s not enough to make sure these kids are actually safe.”
Garcia also wonders why Newport News Public Schools didn’t do anything about safety after the two shootings that happened there before. During lunchtime in September 2021, a 16-year-old fired several shots in a busy hallway at Heritage High School. Two 17-year-olds were hurt.
In December 2021, 18-year-old Demari Batten shot and killed 17-year-old Justice Dunham in the parking lot of Newport News Public Schools’ Menchville High School after a football game. At the same time, teachers and city officials say that Zwerner, who is 25 years old, is a hard-working teacher who cares about her students and loves her job, which runs in her family.
- A Woman in Louisiana Shoots and Kills a Possible Home Invader to Protect Her Children
- Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Relocates to Florida Resort
“The custodians and other teachers said she’s a good teammate, she works well with others, she loves her students, and she’s just an all-around good teacher,” said John Eley III, a former member of the Newport News school board who was recently elected to the Newport News City Council.
Zwerner was shot on Friday, and police say she has injuries that could kill her. She got better, and the last time anyone heard about her, she was in stable condition at a hospital near Newport News, Virginia.
Chief of Police Steve Drew said that the shooting wasn’t a mistake and was part of a fight. No students were injured. Police won’t say how or who owns the gun or how the boy got his hands on it.
Under Virginia law, a 6-year-old can’t be tried as an adult. A 6-year-old is also too young to be sent to the Department of Juvenile Justice if he or she is found guilty.
A juvenile judge could, on the other hand, take a child away from a parent and give him or her to the Department of Social Services.