Virginia teacher identified as shot by 6-year-old, parents call for action

A 6-year-old first grader at an elementary school in Newport News, Virginia, shot dead a teacher during an altercation in a classroom on Friday afternoon, authorities said, leaving her with “life-threatening” injuries and renewed calls from parents for more safety and supervision in the classroom.

The 6-year-old boy shot dead 30-year-old Abigail Zwerner, an elementary school teacher at Richneck Elementary School. She was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center after the incident with life-threatening injuries.

Virginia police say a 6-year-old student shot and killed a teacher at the Newport News elementary school

Abby Zwerner was shot in the abdomen by a 6-year-old student who brought a gun to school on Friday. The 30-year-old teacher remained in critical condition until Saturday morning, when police said she was there "stable" condition after the dispute.

Abby Zwerner was shot in the abdomen by a 6-year-old student who brought a gun to school on Friday. The 30-year-old teacher remained in critical condition until Saturday morning, when police said her condition was “stable” following the altercation.
(Facebook/Abby Zwerner)

Police respond to a shooting at Richneck Elementary School on Friday, January 6, 2023 in Newport News, Virginia.

Police respond to a shooting at Richneck Elementary School on Friday, January 6, 2023 in Newport News, Virginia.
(Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

Prior to Friday’s incident at Richneck Elementary School, there were shootings at two other schools within the Newport News Public Schools system that have rocked the community over the past 17 months.

In September 2021, a 16-year-old fired multiple shots in a busy hallway at Heritage High School during lunchtime, injuring two 17-year-olds

In December 2021, 18-year-old Demari Batten fatally shot 17-year-old Justice Dunham after a football game in the parking lot of Menchville High School, also on the Newport News Public Schools system.

According to the county website. The Newport News Public Schools has 26,500 students and includes 24 elementary schools, seven middle schools and five high schools. Richneck Elementary School has approximately 550 students who attend kindergarten through fifth grade.

In a news conference Friday, Newport News Public Schools Superintendent Dr. George Parker, “We must keep guns out of the hands of our young people.”

Some agreed, calling on the state and federal governments to enact stricter gun laws to keep firearms away from children.

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Others called on the district to put metal detectors in schools, place law enforcement personnel in schools, and even require students to carry clear backpacks to school.

“How many shootings and incidents does it take to have metal detectors on every school, at every entrance, every day, 24 hours a day without exception?” Riri Mimi wrote. “Issue a clear backpack policy AND place armed school resource officers in EVERY school.”

“What is your plan to stop this drama? Put metal detectors in the school!!!!” said Hanan Daoud, who has children in the school district.

A shooting in a classroom at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, occurred Friday after an altercation between a student and a teacher, officials said.

A shooting in a classroom at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, occurred Friday after an altercation between a student and a teacher, officials said.
(Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

Richneck Elementary School will close Monday and Tuesday in response to the recent shooting.

Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew met with Zwerner and her family Saturday morning, according to a statement released by police Saturday afternoon.

“She has improved and is currently in stable condition,” police said in the statement. “Due to the ongoing investigation, we will not be releasing any further information at this time.”

Richneck Principal Briana Foster Newton said in a statement: “My heart aches for our school community. The tragic event that happened on Friday affects us all deeply,” he said. “My thoughts and prayers remain with our critically injured teacher, students and staff who are struggling with the aftermath of this tragedy.”

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On Friday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin offered his condolences to the Newport News community, saying, “My government has offered assistance to Newport News in response to the Richneck Elementary School shooting and stands ready to assist in any way we can. I continue to monitor the situation and pray for the continued safety of all students and the community.”

https://www.foxnews.com/us/virginia-teacher-shot-6-year-old-identified-parents-demand-action Virginia teacher identified as shot by 6-year-old, parents call for action

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