Newport News, VA

Teacher In Critical Condition After Being Shot By 1st Grader

Still Unsolved
Abby ZwernerPhoto by(The Sun)

Recently, a horrifying situation in an elementary school has been taking over the airwaves. In Virginia, 25-year-old Abby Zwerner was screaming at her young students to run to safety. The reason that she had to do that is tragic. Zwerner was shot in the chest by one of her students at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia.

The police say that the student — a first grader who has not been identified — got into an argument with Zwerner. At some point, the student took out a gun and shot her in the chest. According to a parent of one of her students, Zwerner immediately began screaming for her students to run away and get to safety. Her selflessness has been noted as heroic by the parents of her students. Sebastian Gonzalez-Hernandez, a parent whose son was in Zwerner’s class when the shooting happened, said “Even after she’d been shot she was thinking about the safety of her children,”.

“She is an amazing teacher, so dedicated. My son absolutely loves her, and we’re devastated about what’s happened. We are all thinking of her and hoping that she gets better soon.” Abby Zwerner was rushed to the hospital after being struck by the bullet. She was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center and is currently in critical condition.

While the police were able to positively identify the student who fired the gun, they were immediately tasked with figuring out just how a six-year-old was able to get a gun in the first place. Furthermore, the shooting was not accidental. It appears that the child brought a gun to school with the intention of using it. When this “altercation” took place, the child knew that Abby Zwerner was going to get the brunt of their frustration at the time. Such intention — and the fortitude to carry it out — is nothing short of alarming for all parties involved. 

Especially the parents.

Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani says that a child that young would not be prosecuted for a shooting like this. The police would be looking into how they were able to obtain the gun used — which would lead them to focus on the parents. 

“Virginia makes it a misdemeanor crime to allow a child to access a firearm. But it’s only a misdemeanor, so even if that results in a conviction of the parents or anyone else, the consequences would be minimal,” he said.

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