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Police: Child who shot Virginia teacher brought handgun from home

Police determined the handgun the 6-year-old suspect allegedly used was in the residence where he lived and legally purchased by the suspect's mother.
Posted at 9:33 AM, Jan 10, 2023

Authorities gave an update Monday on the shooting of a teacher in Newport News, Virginia, by a 6-year-old student, and the community will later hold a candlelight vigil.

TIMELINE: Teacher talking again after being shot by 6-year-old Richneck Elementary School student, sources confirm.

The Newport News police chief, Newport News mayor, and school superintendent were at the news conference which started at 4 p.m. to discuss the shooting that happened on Friday.

Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew started off the press conference by saying, “She is a trooper. She is a hero," when talking about Abby Zwerner, the teacher who had been shot. “Do you know how my students are?” was her first question to the chief.

Chief Drew says surveillance video showed her students running out of the classroom into other classrooms after the shooting took place.

Zwerner was the last to leave the first-grade classroom. She turned around to make sure every one of those students were safe, Chief Drew explained.

6-Year-Old Boy In Custody After Shooting Virginia School Teacher

6-Year-Old Boy In Custody After Shooting Virginia School Teacher

The teacher, who officials say is in her 30s, was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

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Police determined the 9mm handgun the 6-year-old suspect allegedly used was in the residence where he lived. It was legally purchased by the suspect's mother, police explained.

Drew said the teacher took a defensive position by raising her hand. The single bullet went through her hand and entered her chest.

The child suspect and parents have been interviewed by police. Drew furthered that the child was transported to a hospital where he was evaluated. Police say the child is now at a center receiving treatment.

Drew said officers at the school were able to recover a shell casing, a backpack, and a cell phone, as well as the 9mm handgun used in the shooting.

At this time, charges have not been filed against the 6-year old's parents.

A vigil is planned at 6:30 p.m. for the wounded teacher.

Shortly after the shooting, police said the teacher had life-threatening injuries, but she has improved and was listed in stable condition at a local hospital.

Drew said the shooting was not accidental and was part of an altercation. No students were injured.

Virginia law does not allow 6-year-olds to be tried as adults.

In addition, a 6-year-old is too young to be committed to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice if found guilty. Authorities have not specified where the boy was being held.