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Teacher Shooting: Weapon Kept In Storage By Student

The family of a 6-year-old boy who shot and wounded his teacher in Virginia said Thursday that the gun he used had been “put away” and that one of his parents used to accompany him to class, but not the week the shooting occurred. .

The family’s statement was issued by a lawyer and did not elaborate on where the 9mm pistol was kept. The family was also not identified.

“Our family has always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children,” the statement read. “The firearm our son accessed was in storage.”

The family also noted that the child “suffers from an acute disability and was under a care plan at school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.”

The minor’s parents indicated that the week of the incident “was the first week that we were not in class with him. We will mourn our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.”

The statement was issued through the office of Newport News attorney James S. Ellenson. It is the first public communication from the boy’s family and comes nearly two weeks after the January 6 shooting at Richneck Elementary.

Gun Bought by Mother

Police previously said the 6-year-old’s mother legally bought the gun, but it was unclear how her son got access to it. A Virginia law prohibits leaving a loaded gun where it is accessible to a child under the age of 14, a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

No charges have been filed against the mother, but the investigation continues, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said during one of two Facebook Live chats he held with the community Wednesday.

During the first talk, the boss was asked at least twice if the child’s parents would be responsible or if the mother would be accused. Drew responded by saying that he wanted to make sure detectives could conduct a thorough investigation.

“I’m not going to rush them,” Drew said. His department has a great relationship with local prosecutors, he said, and has “tremendous faith” that they “will make the right decision based on the evidence in front of them.”

Investigators are almost done interviewing the children who were in the classroom, Drew said, and police are working with a psychologist to talk to them about what they saw.

“This is an unprecedented incident that we have had in our city, where a 6-year-old boy obtained a firearm, brought it to school, pointed it, and shot his teacher in front of other students,” explained the chief. from the police. “I have a young teacher who suffered a gunshot wound while she was teaching in her classroom. By the grace of God, she is still with us today.”

The shooting has drawn international attention to the shipbuilding city, which sits along the James River near the Chesapeake Bay. It has many people across the country struggling to understand how such a thing could happen, while fueling an ongoing debate about how schools discipline children.

Boy’s Relationship With Her Teacher

The boy’s family’s statement also referred to the boy’s relationship with her teacher, Abigail Zwerner, who is still recovering from the gunshot wound and has been called a hero by both police and educators.

“Our hearts go out to our son’s teacher and we pray for her healing after such an unimaginable tragedy as she selflessly served our son and the children at school,” the family lamented.

“She has worked diligently and compassionately to support our family as we searched for the best education and learning environment for our son,” the statement continued. “We thank her for her courage, her grace and her sacrifice. We grieve along with all other teachers, families, and administrators at how this horrific incident has impacted them, our community, and the nation.”

The family said the boy has been under hospital care since the shooting and is receiving “the treatment he needs.”

“We continue to pray for the full recovery of his teacher and for his loved ones who are undoubtedly upset and concerned,” the boy’s parents added. “At the same time, we love our son and ask that you include him and our family in your sentences”.

The shooting happened when Zwerner was teaching his first-grade class at Richneck. Authorities said there was no warning or struggle before the boy pointed the gun at Zwerner. The bullet passed through his hand and struck his chest, according to police. The 25-year-old teacher led her students out of the classroom before being rushed to hospital.

Drew described the shooting as “intentional.” A judge will determine what is next for the child.

The Newport News schools superintendent revealed last week that Richneck administrators had learned the boy may have had a gun before the shooting. But a search did not turn up the firearm, despite staff going through his bag.

The revelation fueled outrage among parents and particularly among teachers. Many school system administrators criticized at a meeting Tuesday night for what they called a misguided emphasis on attendance and other educational statistics over the safety of children and staff.

This article is originally published on

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