Teacher shot by a six-year-old hailed as a hero for evacuating students

Police vehicles seen parked outside Richneck Elementary School, where a six-year-old boy shot and wounded a teacher, in Newport News, Virginia, US January 6, 2023. (Photo: WVEC/ABC/Handout/Reuters)

Yesterday, police lauded a 25-year-old Virginia educator as a hero for evacuating pupils from her classroom despite being shot by a 6-year-old pupil.

Abigail Zwerner was in stable condition on Monday following the Friday afternoon shooting at Newport News, Virginia's Richneck Elementary School, according to Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew.

Drew stated that a judge had until Tuesday to decide whether to extend a temporary order holding the 6-year-old in custody. The youngster was now in temporary care at a medical institution.

He stated that it was too soon to tell whether the boy's parents might be charged with a felony for failing to safeguard the weapon, which his mother had purchased legally.

The chief of police described Zwerner as a "hero."

"She ensured that all the children had left the room; she was the last person to leave." "After sustaining a gunshot wound, she took it upon herself to ensure the safety of her students," Drew explained.

Drew stated that the youngster had stolen the 9 mm Taurus handgun from his house, placed it in his bag, and withdrawn it during Zwerner's class. He aimed and fired one shot. Zwerner, who assumed a protective stance, was shot in the hands and chest.

Drew stated that after the shooting, another school employee entered the classroom and restrained the youngster as Zwerner took around 16 to 20 pupils outside. When the police came, they discovered the firearm on the ground.

"I wish we had never been required to ask. How does a six-year-old know how to fire a gun? "I'm not sure I could provide an adequate response," Drew remarked.

Educators vowed to reexamine security protocols as police and prosecutors began their probe.

Superintendent of Newport News Public Schools George Parker told reporters that the school was unprepared for a six-year-old to bring a gun to school and fire it, noting that this was only the third occasion since 1970 that a youngster aged six or younger had fired a weapon in a U.S. school.

So far, security measures have centered on installing metal detectors in high schools and simulating active-shooter scenarios at all levels.

Parker stated, "I hate to be in a position where I'm considering this... We may need to reconsider installing metal detectors in our buildings."

Publish : 2023-01-10 08:34:00

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