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VA Boy Who Shot Teacher Brought Legally Purchased Gun From Home

The six-year-old boy who shot Newport News Va., teacher Abigail Zwerner used a 9mm handgun he had brought from home. The bullet tore through the teacher’s raised hand and hit her chest. Zwerner was able to usher 16 to 20 students to safety from her classroom in Newport News, police said. Police Chief Steve Drew credited Zwerner with saving lives, saying she "was the last person to leave that class,” the Washington Post reports. Authorities gave the dramatic account at a news conference Monday. The boy’s mother had purchased the gun legally, Drew said, but it remains unclear whether the boy or anyone else will be charged in connection with the case that shocked a nation that has grown accustomed to school shootings.

Drew said the shooting was not preceded by any kind of altercation, as police had previously indicated. They are still investigating how the boy got the gun from his home. Drew said he brought the gun to school in a backpack. After firing the round, the boy was restrained by a school employee until law enforcement arrived on the scene. The 6-year-old was taken to a hospital, where he was given an evaluation and then put under court-ordered mental health treatment. He is still in authorities’ custody, receiving treatment at an undisclosed medical facility. The shooting prompted a school evacuation, and there was a chaotic scene as parents anxiously — and sometimes angrily — waited to be reunited with their children. The school has about 550 students enrolled in kindergarten through fifth grade. Police found the 9mm Taurus handgun on the ground next to the boy’s desk.Legal experts said it would be difficult to charge the boy with a crime because under Virginia law, children younger than 7 are presumed not able to form the intent to commit an illegal act.


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