Va. School Official Knew 6-Year-Old May Have Had Gun Prior To Shooting

By Jason Hall

January 13, 2023

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At least one administrator at a Newport News, Virginia, school where a 6-year-old student shot a teacher last week was made aware that the child may have had a weapon prior to the incident, the Associated Press reports.

During an online meeting Thursday (January 12) night, Newport News Public Schools Superintendent Dr. George Parker III, told parents that at least one school official was notified of the Richneck Elementary first grader possibly having a 9mm handgun in his possession last Friday (January 6) ahead of the shooting.

“At least one administrator was notified of a possible weapon in the timeline that we’re reviewing and was aware that that student had, there was a potential that there was a weapon on campus,” the superintendent told parents in a clip of the meeting broadcast by WAVY-TV, which gained access from a parent.

The teacher, Abigail Zwerner, 25, was shot in the chest and treated for injuries initially thought to be life threatening, however, her condition has since improved and she's reported to be in stable condition at a local hospital.

No students were injured during the incident, which took place at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, the department confirmed in an update shared on its account.

The shooting took place inside a first-grade classroom when the child and teacher -- who knew each other prior to the incident -- were reported to be alone, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew confirmed during a press conference last week via NBC News.

Police didn't publicly identify the 6-year-old boy due to his age.

James J. Fedderman, president of the Virginia Education Association, a union representing teachers throughout the state, referred to the incident as "yet another example of senseless violence affecting our public schools" via NBC News.

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