Chief: 6-year-old shot Va. teacher during class lesson; injured teacher’s actions ‘saved lives’

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Police say a 6-year-old student who shot his teacher Friday at Richneck Elementary School used a 9 mm handgun that belonged to his mother.

The first-grade teacher, Abigail Zwerner, 25, was in the middle of class just before 2 p.m. when the student suddenly pointed the gun at her and fired one round, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said at a news conference Monday.

Drew backed off a statement made Friday that there was an “altercation” between the student and Zwerner before the shooting. “There was no physical struggle or fight,” he said, elaborating there was no argument between them, either.

The boy did not take the gun out of his bag, Drew said, but “had the firearm on his person” just before the shooting.

“What we know today is that she was providing instruction, he displayed a firearm, pointed it at her and fired a round,” Drew said.

After being shot, Zwerner had the wherewithal to shuffle all the other students — between 17 and 20 children — out of the classroom, Drew said. The school’s video surveillance footage showed the students, followed by Zwerner, leaving the class. The students went to another classroom and Zwerner went to an administration office.

“I believe that Ms. Zwerner, Abigail, she saved lives on Friday,” Drew said, calling her “a hero” and “a trooper.” Full Story

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