VA NEWPORT NEWS — More information is becoming available regarding the moments preceding the shooting at Newport News’ Richneck Elementary School. A 6-year-old kid is charged with deliberately shooting Abby Zwerner, his first-grade teacher. Zwerner, 25, was transported to the hospital with severe wounds, although reports indicate that her condition has improved.
In order to discuss safety precautions for the primary school moving forward, school administrators invited families to a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday night. During that meeting, they shared additional information concerning the event that occurred on Friday. The boy suspected of the shooting arrived at school late that morning, according to Superintendent Dr. George Parker III, and his backpack was examined after a tip that he might have been carrying a weapon.
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No weapon was discovered by the individual who searched the child’s bag. Zwerner had been shot a few hours later. Who searched the boy’s bag was not disclosed by the school division. On Thursday, Richneck families were informed that it is unclear when their children will be able to return to class. Administrators are attempting to implement adjustments that will enhance school security and safety in the interim. For other parents, like Mark Anthony Garcia Sr., worries continue to exist.
Family members were the only attendees of the virtual town hall on Thursday night, according to Michelle Price, a spokesperson for Newport News Public Schools. We visited with Garcia after the meeting, and she recapped what Dr. Parker had said. According to Garcia, it will be at least another week before students are allowed to return to Richneck.
After a 6-year-old in Newport News shot his teacher, the schools superintendent and police chief both described the incident as “unprecedented.” But in this country, almost no form of gun violence is unique. https://t.co/KzhXx4dAtI
— Christopher Peak (@CLPeak) January 13, 2023
“According to [Dr. Parker], these are the things that we parents have previously discussed: they are obtaining [clear] backpacks, they are installing metal detectors, and they are now installing doors. They are now attempting to introduce things after the fact.” “Why are we only now implementing this?” Garcia questioned in reference to the shootings that occurred in September 2021 at Heritage High School and in December 2021 outside Menchville High School after a basketball game.
In the past, Dr. Parker supported occasional and random metal detection. Garcia stated that after hearing the town hall that the youngster implicated in the incident might not have had the gun in his backpack but rather on his person. Garcia claimed, “We didn’t notice the security measures beforehand. He added that he was disappointed to learn Thursday that Richneck’s front door buzzer had malfunctioned both before and after the shooting on Friday.
Our country’s weak gun laws failed Abby Zwerner and the six-year-old student who never should’ve had access to a gun.
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) January 14, 2023
Garcia continued, “We’re only now learning information that is harmful to the security of our students, staff, and instructors.” He claimed that administrators are working to increase security outside of Richneck and to send a designated school resource officer there. Garcia is one of many parents from Richneck who are figuring out what to do next. While worried, his son in the second grade is ready to resume a routine.
For him, it’s a different emotion, Garcia added. “Yes, I feel a little concerned because I’m going to make sure my son gets through the second grade knowing how to read and write but goes to the third grade,” Garcia said that parents will soon receive information about picking up lesson packs for their kids. He also commended the workers and teachers at Richneck for their dedication, and he said he would be praying for Zwerner and the youngster who is suspected of pressing the trigger.