Abigail ‘Abby’ Zwerner id as Richneck Elementary School first grade teacher at Newport News, Virginia shot by 6 year old boy. Shooting comes one week after student brought bullets to school saying that they were going to bring gun next time.
Abigail ‘Abby’ Zwerner was identified as the educator who was struck by a bullet in her classroom at Richneck Elemtary School in Newport News, Virginia, around 2pm Friday.
Zwerner who was deliberately shot in the chest by the student was rushed to hospital for surgery. Officials earlier in the evening said the teacher had been critically-injured. Come Saturday night, updated reports told of the ‘hero’ teacher’s condition having improved and the the elementary teacher ‘in stable condition’.
Police said the boy, who has not been publicly identified, got into an ‘altercation’ with Zwerner, of Williamsburg, before shooting her.
Speaking to the dailymail, parent, Sebastian Gonzalez-Hernandez confirmed the first grade teacher’s identity, along with describing the educator’s selflessness in the immediate aftermath.
A six-year-old student shot a teacher inside an elementary school in Newport News, Virginia, leaving the educator with “life-threatening” injuries, police say. The child has been identified as the suspect and in police custody. @PierreThomas reports. https://t.co/hljHrnDolJ pic.twitter.com/lKmyOOjj9T
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 7, 2023
Virginia 6 year old stole mom’s gun to shoot teacher. Will parents face charges? https://t.co/7XD2mXoolc #Abigail Zwerner #Abby Zwerner #Newport News shooting #AbbyZwerner #Richneck Elementary School pic.twitter.com/90UajbLB7Y
— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) January 10, 2023
Hero teacher lauded as amazing and dedicated
The parent said ‘Zwerner screamed at her kids to run away’ after the student fired a single bullet.
‘Even after she’d been shot she was thinking about the safety of her children,’ Gonzalez-Hernandez said.
The parent’s own six-year-old was in the classroom when the gunshot went off.
‘My son didn’t see what happened, he heard the gunshot go off, and turned around to see Miss Zwerner on the floor,’ he told the dailymail on Friday.
‘She is an amazing teacher, so dedicated. My son absolutely loves her, and we’re devastated about what’s happened. We are all thinking of her and hoping that she gets better soon.’
Zwerner was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center in critical condition and remains there. She was the only one injured.
Police confirmed a six-year-old student had been the one to fire gunshot as authorities were looking into how the first-grader managed to get a gun.
What happened to student who brought bullets to school last week?
‘This was not an accidental shooting,’ Newport News Chief Steve Drew said at a press conference on Friday. ‘It was in a classroom, an altercation took place there. We did not have a situation where someone was going around the school shooting. We had a situation in one particular location where a gunshot was fired.’
A grandmother of one of the students told the dailymail that a student brought ‘shiny gold bullets’ to school last week, but it is unclear if it is the same child who was taken into custody today.
The grandmother, who asked not to be named, said the child had allegedly ‘brought bullets to school last week and said he would bring his gun.’
‘A parent told the school they did nothing, now look,’ she wrote on Facebook.
Speaking to the dailymail, the woman said: ‘The parents outside stated that their child told them a kid brought golden shiny bullets to school and was thinking about bringing his gun. The student told the parent, who informed the school. And the school just yesterday got back to the parent saying the parent of the kid said it was a nerf bullet and the parent said nerf bullets aren’t shiny and gold.’
She was not positive if the child who brought the bullets is the same child allegedly involved in the shooting today.
A mother at Richneck Elementary School in Virginia demands gun reform after a 6-year-old shot a teacher pic.twitter.com/MDMJlb27CW
— Marjorie Gaylor Queen 🏳️🌈 (@Tim_Tweeted) January 7, 2023
‘How does a seven-year-old have a gun?
During Friday’s press conference, Superintendent George Parker said the school has the capability of metal detecting students. The school official emphasized that schools do not perform the test on every student, every day, but said every school in the district has the capability to do so.
‘When we have a perceived threat or issue, we do random metal detection on those days,’ Parker said on Friday.
It is unclear if the school had enhanced testing after the bullet claim the previous week, and if not, why?
‘Today, our students got a lesson in gun violence,’ Parker said. ‘We need to keep the guns out of the hands of our young people.’
The incident led to enraged parents demanding the town do ‘something’ to address the gun problem.
‘Guns, that’s the biggest problem in this country,’ the parent hailing from the U.K told WTKR. ‘Why is there a seven-year-old with a bloody gun? … How does a seven-year-old have a gun?
‘I’m only here because my husband is in the military. Otherwise, I would not have chosen to come to this country.’
Superintendent Parker said the school would be closed on Monday to address the ‘mental health of our staff and students.’
A six-year-old girl who witnessed the shooting said her classmate shot the female teacher ‘on purpose’ and the educator fell to her knees.
Students lessons in violence
A parent of a fourth-grade student said she received a text from the school that the shooting happened and that the suspect was in custody.
‘My heart stopped. I was freaking out, very nervous. Just wondering if that one person was my son,’ parent, Joselin Glover told the Daily Press.
The Uvalde Foundation For Kids addressed the incident, saying in a statement: ‘Today’s incident highlights, yet again, the need to prioritize in this nation, the protection of our schools, our students and the communities who care for them.
‘Yet again, in another school in this nation; students are facing fear – instead of joy; lessons in violence – instead of peace. UNTIL those lessons change, our work continues.’