Report: Virginia Teacher Shot by 1st Grader Was Trying To Confiscate Weapon

The Virginia first grade teacher shot by one of her students last week was moving to confiscate the weapon when the boy pulled the trigger.

The shooting took place Friday afternoon at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, as CrimeOnline reported. Police said the 6-year-old pulled out a gun and shot the teacher during some kind of altercation and that it was “not accidental.” They have not officially identified the teacher, but family, the school board, and her alma mater, James Madison University, did.

Brittaney Gregory, a mother whose son was in Abby Zwerner’s class when the shooting took place, told the Washington Post that she learned about the shooting when a neighbor called.

She rushed to the school, and officials brought her son out after he’d spoken with a detective.

“I was so relieved,” she said. “But you could tell on his face what he was going through. He was a deer in the headlights.”

Gregory said her son told her the shot was so loud it took his breath away.

“She was going to confiscate it, and that’s when he shot,” she said.

Zwerner told her students to run, and they did, into another teacher’s classroom, where they remained in lockdown until police arrived.

Zwerner was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and is now said to be in serious but stable condition. The boy was taken into custody, the gun still in his possession, but it’s not clear where he is now, or how the case is going to be handled.

Under Virginia law, the boy cannot be tried as an adult, the Associated Press reported. He is also too young to be remitted into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice if he is found guilty.

The AP said, however, that a juvenile judge could revoke a parent’s custody and place him into the care of the Department of Social Services.

Newport News officials have said only that they are working to ensure he gets the services he needs.

Gregory told the Post that Zwerner was her son’s favorite teacher, an effervescent woman who frequently left notes in his backpack.

“She’s such a sweet lady,” she said. “She’s very attentive to the kids.”

Investigators have not said how the boy came to have the weapon or whether any parents or guardians will be held responsible.

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[Featured image: Abby Zwerner/Facebook]