The six-year-old student who shot his teacher in Virginia stole his mother’s gun, put it in his backpack, and then pulled the trigger at his teacher during class.
The Richneck Elementary School child – who is still unnamed – is now being detained in a medical facility where professionals continue to evaluate and treat him.
Teacher Abby Zwerner, 25, is stable after the life-threatening attack on Friday. She was shot at point-blank range, and the bullet went through her hand and into her chest.
She was giving her first grade class instructions when the child pulled the gun out of his backpack and shot her. Police have confirmed that it was intentional, not accidental.
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said on Monday afternoon that more facts will have to be gathered before the department – to determine if charges will be filed against the boy’s mother.
Teacher Abby Zwerner, 25, is stable after the life-threatening attack on Friday. She was shot at point-blank range, and the bullet went through her hand and into her chest
Zwerner was shot at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News around 2pm on Friday
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew told a press conference that the child shot one round, which went through the teacher’s hand and then chest
Drew also revealed that Zwerner made sure all of the children in her class were safe and out of the room before she attempted to get help for herself. He said that her first question when he visited her was ‘do you know how my students are.’
The six-year-old ‘combative’ boy was physically detained by another school employee after the shooting – who he then hit, police confirmed.
When they arrived at the scene, they placed him in a police car and later interviewed him with his mother.
Police have confirmed that the gun which he brought into school was in fact his mother’s. She had bought it legally in York County, and it was in their home.
It’s currently unclear how the child was able to obtain it from his residence.
The six-year-old ‘combative’ boy was physically detained by another school employee after the shooting – who he then hit, police confirmed
The teacher has been hailed a hero in the local community
Police have not released any details about the child – or his parents – but said that more interviews and probes are taking place. The six-year-old is now in a ‘medical facility’ and will appear before a judge in the coming days.
Meanwhile, a grandparent of a student at the school claimed that the week prior to the attack, one child brought in ‘shiny gold bullets’ and told his class and teacher he was thinking about bringing in a gun.
It is not clear if the student described by the grandparent is the same one who shot Zwerner.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, the grandmother said: ‘The parents outside stated that their child told them a kid brought golden shiny bullets to school and was thinking about bringing his gun. The student told the parent, who informed the school.
‘And the school just yesterday got back to the parent saying the parent of the kid said it was a nerf bullet and the parent said nerf bullets aren’t shiny and gold.’
Zwerner was reportedly attempting to confiscate the gun from the young child when he shot her. Police said they were working to determine how the child got the weapon and why he shot his teacher.
Richneck is remaining closed through Friday of this week as the school and community continue to ponder ways to get students through this crisis.
One parent, Mark Anthony Garcia, whose young son attends Richneck, told CNN that the entire incident is a safety system failure of the education apparatus.
He said that local parents have raised prior concerns to no avail.
‘We’ve talked to the principal, we’ve talked to the guidance counselor, we’ve went to town hall meetings, we spoke on zooms, what else are we supposed to do?’ he said.
As a veteran, Garcia said that what happened at the school was the failure of multiple security measures, including metal detectors, of which he says the school has just one in the library.
Garcia’s son, Mark Jr., told CNN that just after the shooting, which he heard from his nearby classroom, ‘we all stayed quiet.’
‘Two people were crying,’ he said.
One key question, Mark Sr. said, is understanding if there were any issues in the classroom in the past.
Dr. James Fedderman, President of the Virginia Education Association, said the problem is only going to get worse if the mental health needs of students are not met soon.
‘We’re going to see an increase in crime in our schools and we really needs to take the reins and do something about it,’ he said, adding that schools do not currently have the capacity to address the ‘social-emotional needs of our students.’
Richneck Elementary will remain closed this week as administrative leaders continue to think through how to move students past the trauma experienced Friday
Lawonda Sample-Rusk told a local outlet how she responded to the shooting of 25-year-old teacher Abby Zwerner
Lawonda Sample-Rusk, a grandmother who was at the school early on Friday to pick up her two grandchildren, helped render aid to the wounded Zwerner.
Rusk told local news outlet WKTR that she heard Zwerner cry out ‘I’m shot, I’m shot. Call 911.’
She and the school receptionist at first thought Rusk had just been wounded on her hand, but then she ‘passed out on the floor.’
Rusk and the receptionist stayed with Zwerner and helped put pressure on the wound while other administrators herded young students to designated safe zones.
The terrifying Friday incident led Rusk to the area’s second annual Stop the Violence Rally.
Concerned residents, community activists and city leaders came together to share concerns about community safety following the shooting.
Police have so far declined to comment on what, if any, contact they’ve had with Zwerner.