In a shooting that has stunned a nation accustomed to gun violence, authorities give the first in-depth account of the moment the boy fired on his teacher.
According to investigators, the six-year-old student who shot his teacher did so with a lawfully licenced rifle that belonged to his mother.
Before the youngster opened fire on Abby Zwerner while she was teaching a class at a school in the US state of Virginia, authorities claimed there had been no altercation or physical conflict.
Police chief Steve Drew claimed that on the day of the shooting, the youngster had taken the 9mm handgun from his house in a bag.
At a press conference, he gave the first in-depth account of a shooting that shook the residents of Newport News and a nation accustomed to gun violence: “She was instructing, as far as we can tell today. He pointed a gun while displaying it, then he fired one round.”
Mr. Drew previously stated that the incident was not an accident but chose not to go into further detail.
He claimed he wished to clarify comments he made on Friday immediately following the incident, in which he claimed there had been a “altercation” before to the shooting.
The policeman claimed that what happened was more like a “interaction” between the youngster and his first-grade teacher at Richneck Elementary School, who is 25 years old.
He did, however, add that the shooting was “not an accident.”
It was deliberate, he claimed.
praised as a superstar teacher
When the rifle discharged, Ms. Zwerner raised her hand in defence, and the bullet passed through her hand and entered her upper chest, Mr. Drew continued.
Although her injuries were previously thought to be life-threatening, she has improved and is now listed in a hospital’s stable condition.
After being shot, Ms. Zwerner immediately ushered her kids out of the room, and Mr. Drew praised her as a hero, claiming that security footage revealed she was the last person to leave the room.
“She turned to the right and walked down the corridor before stopping. She went around to check on the safety of each student “explained the police chief.
After hearing the gunshot, according to Mr. Drew, a school employee hurried into the classroom and forcibly restrained the youngster.
When police officers arrived, they led the youngster out of the building and into a police car, according to the employee who claimed the boy became “a little belligerent” and punched him.
Since a temporary detention order and emergency custody order were granted on Friday, the youngster has been kept at a medical facility, according to Mr. Drew.
He stated that a judge will determine the boy’s future course of action. Police have spoken with his mother, however it is presently unknown whether or not she will be charged.
The first-grade teacher has demonstrated “dedication and love for what she does day in and day out,” Ms. Zwerner’s friend told a gathering gathered at a vigil on Monday night as questions surrounded the child and his mother.
Second-grade teacher Rosalie List at Richneck said: “Every day, Abby proves her mettle as a fighter by showing both mental and physical fortitude. I’m really pleased with her.”
Richneck’s school counsellor, Lauren Palladini, described Ms. Zwerner as “kind” to the audience.
“She is considerate. She has empathy. And I’ve had the privilege of working with her as one of the most outstanding teachers “said the school counsellor.
One of the city’s elementary school teachers, Amanda Bartley, urged everyone to pray for the hurt teacher and “pray for the young man who did this.”
She told reporters that there were still a lot of unanswered questions.
She uttered: “He got the gun somehow. Why wasn’t it kept inside? A responsible gun owner understands to lock away their firearm. You are wearing a safety. The ammunition and the actual weapon are kept apart.”
What will now happen to the boy and his mother?
A Virginia law that forbids anybody from carelessly placing a loaded, unattended gun in a way that puts children under the age of 14 in danger of life or limb and allows for prosecution of gun owners applies to this situation.
It is a misdemeanour to break the statute, which carries a potential one-year jail term and $2,500 in fines.
Virginia does not have any laws dictating how unattended firearms should be handled or mandating that gun owners lock their weapons.
According to Allison Anderman, senior counsel and director of local policy at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Virginia’s child access prevention law is “certainly weaker than many other states that have child access prevention laws.”
Legal authorities stated that while it is theoretically possible under Virginia law to prosecute a kid under the age of six with a crime, there are several barriers to doing so, and it is highly doubtful that any prosecutor would even attempt it.
In the words of Andrew Block, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and former director of Virginia’s Department of Juvenile Justice from 2014 to 2019, “It’s practically inconceivable to see a six-year-old being judged competent to stand trial.”