US teacher shot by 6-year-old known as devoted to students & More Trending News


RICHMOND, Virginia: The Virginia teacher who authorities say was shot by a 6-year-old scholar is known as a hard-working educator who’s devoted to her students and enthusiastic in regards to the career that runs in her household, in accordance to fellow lecturers and metropolis officers.

John Eley III, a former member of the Newport News School Board, recognized the first-grade teacher as Abby Zwerner, 25. Zwerner was shot Friday at Richneck Elementary School, authorities mentioned.

Shortly after the capturing, police mentioned Zwerner had life-threatening accidents, however she has improved and was listed in steady situation at an area hospital.

Eley and different metropolis officers met with lecturers and the principal on the college Friday and later went to the hospital, the place they met with members of Zwerner’s household, together with a number of aunts who are also lecturers.

“The family was all educators and said she was excited about doing the job,” mentioned Eley, who was lately elected to the Newport News City Council.

“The custodians and other teachers spoke about how she’s a good teammate, she’s a team player, she loves her children, she’s just an all-around good teacher.”

Cindy Hurst mentioned her granddaughter, 8, remains to be rattled by the capturing. She was in Zwerner’s class final yr, and informed her grandmother she is a superb teacher.

“I just hate that this happened,” Hurst informed The Virginian-Pilot. “But life as we know it may not ever be the same – I don’t know.”

Zwerner attended James Madison University, graduating in 2019 with a bachelor’s diploma in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies and minors in Elementary Education and Music. She graduated from JMU’s College of Education in 2020 with a grasp’s diploma in Education.

JMU President Jonathan Alger supplied a message of help for Zwerner, her household, associates and fellow lecturers, students and their households.

“JMU is prepared to support those impacted by this incident now and in the weeks to come,” Zwerner tweeted Saturday.

Police Chief Steve Drew mentioned the boy shot and wounded the teacher with a handgun in a first-grade classroom. He was later taken into police custody. Drew mentioned the capturing was not unintentional and was a part of an altercation. No students have been injured.

Police have declined to describe what led to the altercation or some other particulars about what occurred within the classroom, citing the continuing investigation. They have additionally declined to say how the boy received entry to the gun or who owns the weapon.

Virginia legislation doesn’t permit 6-year-olds to be tried as adults. In addition, a 6-year-old is simply too younger to be dedicated to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice if discovered responsible.

A juvenile decide would have authority, although, to revoke a mum or dad’s custody and place a baby underneath the purview of the Department of Social Services.

Mayor Phillip Jones wouldn’t say the place the boy is being held.

“We are ensuring he has all the services that he currently needs right now,” Jones mentioned Saturday.

Experts who research gun violence mentioned the capturing represents an especially uncommon prevalence of a younger youngster bringing a gun into college and wounding a teacher.

“It’s very rare and it’s not something the legal system is really designed or positioned to deal with,” mentioned researcher David Riedman, founding father of a database that tracks US college shootings relationship again to 1970.

He mentioned Saturday that he’s solely conscious of three different shootings prompted by 6-year-old students within the time interval he’s studied. Those embrace the deadly capturing of a fellow scholar in 2000 in Michigan and shootings that injured different students in 2011 in Texas and 2021 in Mississippi.

Riedman mentioned he solely is aware of of 1 different occasion of a scholar youthful than that inflicting gunfire at a college, by which a 5-year-old scholar introduced a gun to a Tennessee college in 2013 and by chance discharged it. No one was injured in that case.

Newport News is a metropolis of about 185,000 folks in southeastern Virginia known for its shipyard, which builds the nation’s plane carriers and different US Navy vessels.

Richneck has about 550 students in kindergarten via fifth grade, in accordance to the Virginia Department of Education’s web site. Jones mentioned there will likely be no courses on the college Monday and Tuesday.

US teacher shot by 6-year-old known as devoted to students

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