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A 6-year-old said ‘I did it’ after shooting his teacher at Virginia school, warrants say

by Sophia Chen
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Child Shooting

According to recently disclosed police search warrants, a 6-year-old boy in Virginia expressed his involvement in shooting his teacher inside a classroom last January. The boy reportedly uttered statements like “I shot that (expletive) dead” and “I did it. I got my mom’s gun last night” immediately after the incident. The new court documents from Newport News reveal more information about the incident that left a first-grade teacher, Abby Zwerner, severely injured. Despite being shot in the hand and chest, Zwerner survived and is pursuing a $40 million lawsuit against Newport News Public Schools. The boy’s mother, Deja Taylor, is facing charges of felony child neglect and misdemeanor reckless firearm storage.

Six months after the event, the unsealed search warrants describe how a reading specialist heard the gunshot and witnessed children running out of the classroom. The specialist found Zwerner injured and bleeding, and upon entering the classroom, discovered the boy holding a handgun near his desk. The specialist restrained the boy until the police arrived, during which the child made statements admitting to the shooting and the source of the gun.

Police discovered a loaded 9 mm handgun on the classroom floor, along with a spent shell casing. Zwerner’s account revealed that she had organized her class into reading groups after recess when the boy suddenly pulled out the gun and shot her. The warrants also detailed an interview with Taylor, who explained her firearm storage practices.

The search warrants additionally mentioned the boy’s belongings, including his backpack with a black and white checkered design and shark images, bearing his initials. Other items seized by the police included a starfish-themed notebook belonging to Zwerner, a laptop, and a folder labeled with the boy’s name.

Zwerner’s lawsuit accuses the school system of negligence, emphasizing warnings issued by school employees before the shooting. The lawsuit highlights concerns about the boy’s behavior and asserts that school officials disregarded signs of his violent tendencies over several months. In response, the school board contends that the boy was undergoing evaluation and treatment for possible ADHD, which aligns with laws aiming to keep such children in the classroom whenever feasible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Child Shooting

What happened in the Virginia school incident involving a 6-year-old?

In January, a 6-year-old boy shot his teacher in a Virginia classroom. He made statements confessing to the shooting immediately after.

How severe were the teacher’s injuries?

The teacher, Abby Zwerner, was shot in the hand and chest but survived the attack.

What legal actions have been taken?

Abby Zwerner is suing Newport News Public Schools for $40 million, alleging negligence. The boy’s mother faces charges of child neglect and reckless firearm storage.

How did the incident unfold?

The boy pulled out a gun from his jacket pocket, aimed it at the teacher, and fired a shot, injuring her. He then admitted to the shooting and revealed the source of the gun.

Were there any prior concerns about the boy’s behavior?

Yes, the lawsuit claims that school employees had issued warnings about the boy’s violent behavior over several months before the incident.

What is the school board’s response to the lawsuit?

The school board argues that the boy was undergoing evaluation and treatment for possible ADHD, which is in line with laws aiming to keep such children in the classroom.

What items were seized by the police?

The police confiscated a loaded handgun, the boy’s backpack, a notebook, a laptop, and a folder labeled with the boy’s name as evidence.

What is the status of the legal proceedings?

The search warrants were unsealed after six months, revealing these details. The teacher’s lawsuit is ongoing, and the boy’s mother is facing charges.

How did the school community react to the incident?

The incident shocked the nation and raised concerns about school safety and child violence.

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