Six-year-old boy who shot and injured his Virginia school teacher will NOT be criminally charged
A six-year-old schoolboy who shot his teacher from point-blank range in class will not be criminally charged.
The city prosecutor in Newport News, Virginia said Wednesday he will not be seeking charges against the child because ‘the ‘prospect that a 6-year-old can stand trial is problematic’.
It comes after the boy, who has not been named, opened fire at his first-grade elementary school teacher, Abby Zwerner, on January 6.
The prosecutor says he is yet to decide whether any adults associated with the case will be held criminally responsible.
Teacher Abby Zwerner was shot at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News on January 6
The child shot his teacher in Virginia after he stole his mother’s gun from their home before putting it in his backpack and taking it to Richneck Elementary School.
Following the shooting, the six-year-old was detained in a medical facility, where professionals continue to psychologically evaluate him.
He opened fire at his teacher from point blank range while she was giving her first-grade class instructions, with the bullet passing through her hand and into her chest.
Police confirmed at the time that the attack was intentional, not accidental.
Despite being hit with the bullet, authorities said Zwerner made sure all the children in her class were safe and out of the room before she attempted to find help.
Police revealed that her first questions when she was visited in hospital was ‘do you know how my students are?’
The six-year-old ‘combative’ boy was physically detained by another school employee following the terrifying shooting – who he then hit, police said.
In an interview with NBC News, Newport News Commonwealth Attorney Howard Gwynn insisted that he does not believe there is a legal basis to charge a child in the case.
Following the shooting, the family of the unidentified 6-year-old boy released a statement insisting that the weapon was ‘secured’ in the home.
They added that they have ‘always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children’.
The child shot his teacher in Virginia after he stole his mother’s gun from their home before putting it in his backpack and taking it to Richneck Elementary School, pictured
The 25-year-old first-grade teacher survived the attack. She was shot at point-blank range, and the bullet went through her hand and into her chest
While criminal charges are not being brought against the child, the January shooting is expected to result in a lawsuit against the school’s superintendent and assistant principal.
Metal detectors are also set to be introduced after the gun was able to be brought onto campus.
According to Diane Toscano, a lawyer for Zwerner, the young shooter had a history of disturbing interactions with teachers and other students.
He previously broke Zwerner’s cellphone, according to a notice of intent to sue, before returning the next day with the gun he would use to shoot his teacher.
Toscano added during a news conference in January that multiple teachers had alerted school administrators to the boy’s troubling behavior, including a belief that he had already brought a gun onto the school grounds.
Zwerner’s lawyer Diane Toscano, pictured, told a news conference in January that multiple teachers had alerted school administrators to the boy’s troubling behavior prior to the shooting
The potential lawsuit following the shooting was described as ‘entirely preventable’ by Toscano.
She argued during the press conference that the school administration should ‘have taken action when they had knowledge of imminent danger.’
‘But instead, they failed to act, and Abby was shot,’ she added.
It is unclear how the child was able to take his mother’s gun. However, a grandparent of a student at the school claimed that the week prior to the attack, one child brought in ‘shiny gold bullets’ and told his class and teacher he was planning on bringing in a gun.
It has not been confirmed whether the student described by the grandparent is the same one who shot Zwerner.