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Mother Of Boy, 6, Who Shot Teacher Faces Federal Gun Charges

The mother of the Virginia student who police say shot his teacher in January is facing federal gun charges.

Deja Taylor, the mother of the 6-year-old boy who shot Richneck Elementary School teacher Abby Zwerner, is charged with being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. She allegedly “was an unlawful user of marijuana,” reports WAVY. Taylor was indicted by a grand jury on charges of felony child neglect and misdemeanor recklessly leaving a loaded firearm so as to endanger a child.” The charge says Taylor knew she was an unlawful user of a controlled substance and possessed a firearm – a Taurus model PT111, G2A 9mm semiautomatic handgun.


Zwerner,, 25, was shot in the hand and chest as she sat at a reading table in her classroom. She spent nearly two weeks in the hospital and required four surgeries. The shooting sent shock waves through the military shipbuilding community of Newport News, with many wondering how a child so young could access a gun and shoot his teacher. Attorneys for Zwerner filed a $40 million lawsuit against the school district, alleging gross negligence and reckless breach of duty. The suit says school officials failed to protect Zwerner against the student despite multiple warnings. The school system argues that Zwerner’s injuries are covered under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act because she was shot while doing her job. Zwerner's attorneys say teachers "will be alarmed to learn their employer sees [being shot by a student] as part of the job description."

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