This month, Newport News, Virginia, is grappling with the aftermath of a school shooting, much as many other American communities have.
Police say they have identified the culprit as a 6-year-old student at Richneck Elementary who they say opened fire in class, sending a teacher to the hospital with injuries. The news that a first-grader reportedly got a pistol, took it to school and shot his teacher has shocked the local community and the nation.
Officials have released some details regarding the incident. However, many concerns remain unanswered, such as how a 6-year-old might get into possession of a firearm and whether or not the pupil or his parents may face legal consequences.
The boy’s parents have issued a statement stating they have locked up the pistol and that they are typically in school with their son because of his severe impairment.
In a press conference, Police Chief Steve Drew claimed that he had been taken into custody by police soon after the shooting and that no other students had been engaged. On January 9, police stated the youngster was the subject of a temporary custody order and was being assessed at a hospital.
Drew had earlier told reporters that the shooting had not been an accident and that it had occurred while the teacher was “giving class instruction when the youngster flashed a pistol, aimed it at her, and fired one round.”
There was “no physical struggle or brawl,” he emphasized.
At 1:59 p.m., Drew said, police got a report indicating a teacher had been shot. According to police, when they arrived at the classroom five minutes later, the youngster was being detained by school staff. He resisted being restrained and attacked the person attempting to do so. He was led out of the premises and placed in a police vehicle by officers.
Drew alleged that the 6-year-old had stolen the rifle from his house, even though the child’s mother had legitimately acquired it. The kid stashed it in his bag and took it to class with him. Exactly how the kid got his hands on a gun is a mystery.
The victim has been named as Abigail Zwerner, a 25-year-old educator who was hailed for her efforts after being shot, which included keeping her children safe.
As her family showed me to her room on Saturday, Abigail’s first inquiry to me was, “Do you know how my pupils are?” The words of Drew. “She was concerned about their safety.”
Angela Arcieri, a spokeswoman at Riverside Regional Medical Center, said in an email on Thursday that despite early reports that her injuries were life-threatening, she was discharged “earlier this week.” She is doing well as an outpatient and has the love and support of her loved ones and medical staff helping her along the way. “Please respect the Zwerner family’s request for privacy at this time,” Arcieri stated.