6 Year Old Boy Shoots His Teacher


Ella Bisson

  On January 6th at Richneck Elementary school in Virginia, a 6-year-old student shot his teacher in the middle of a class lesson. This tragedy is still being processed by the Newport News community and the punishment for the child and his parents is still unknown.

   The police chief of Newport News stated in a news conference that this shooting was not accidental. The 9mm gun the boy used was legally purchased by his mother. The teacher, Ms. Abigail Zwerner is now in stable condition and has been released from the hospital after sustaining life-threatening injuries.

  Reports show that teachers and administrators have asked for help with this child before because of his alarming behavior including instances where he threw furniture in class and threatened to “light a teacher on fire and watch her die.” According to text messages, Ms. Zwerner had also asked for help with this student throughout the school year. Administration has yet to comment on how they tried to address her concerns. However, they did have the boy’s backpack searched the day of the shooting but faculty never found the weapon.

   The family of the 6 year old boy has recently made a statement regarding this horrific incident. In a statement from the boy’s family they said that their child suffers from “an acute disability” and one of his parents normally accompanies him to class but the shooting “was the first week when we were not in class with him. We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.”

   When it comes to possible paths for prosecution, it is unclear what is going to happen. His mother states that the gun was in her closet on a 6 feet high shelf, not to mention that the weapon had a trigger lock that required a key.  There is still little information on how he obtained the gun and it is still under investigation.

    According to a Virginia law, his mother could be charged with a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 1 year and a $2500 fine for leaving a loaded gun where her child could access it. The boy will likely not be charged since he is not competent to stand trial.

    The boy is currently under a court-ordered temporary detention and is being treated in a mental facility.