6-Year-Old Boy Shoots Teacher



First grade teacher Abby Zwerner was shot by one of her students in school.

Natalia Garcia, Features Editor

   On Jan. 6 in Newport News, Va. a 6-year-old boy shot his first grade teacher, Abby Zwerner, over an argument at Richneck Elementary School. Authorities and the Newport News public school district did not identify the student involved in the shooting. The student had an acute disability that required one of his parents to stay with the child in the classroom during the day, but he was not accompanied on the day of the shooting. 

   The bullet went through Zwerner’s hand and into her upper chest. She managed to escort the students out of the classroom safely. No students were injured during the shooting. Luckily, Zwerner is in stable condition according to the Newport News Police Department. Her family launched a GoFundMe for to help cover the injured teacher’s future living expenses as she recovers from her injuries. The police department stated that the student’s mother purchased the gun but it wasn’t specified how the student got a hold of the weapon. 

   Police Chief Steve Drew said the student’s mother could face charges under Virginia law, but added that there are angles the investigation needs to cover. Virginia law limits the way a child can be punished for such a crime. In addition, a 6-year-old is too young to be committed to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice if found guilty. The 6-year-old is currently getting the help he needs at a detention center. Police have stated that this incident was intentional.

   Experts have claimed that a shooting involving a 6-year-old is extremely rare. The last time an incident like this happened was 23 years ago, in Michigan when a boy shot classmate, Kayla Rolland. 

   James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Boston’s Northeastern University said, “There are students who killed teachers, more typically high school students, I don’t know of other cases where a 6-year-old shot a teacher.”