A 6-year-old Virginia boy who shot and wounded his first-grade teacher constantly cursed at staff and teachers, tried to whip students with his belt and once choked another teacher “until she couldn’t breathe,” said the wounded teacher's attorney, the Associated Press reports. The incidents were described in a notice sent to the Newport News school district by Diane Toscano, attorney for teacher Abby Zwerner, informing the district that Zwerner intends to sue. The notice, which AP obtained through a public records request, outlines behavior issues the boy had at Richneck Elementary School and troubling interactions he had with teachers and students.
Two days before the shooting, the boy allegedly “slammed” Zwerner’s cellphone and broke it. He was given a one-day suspension, but when he returned to Zwerner’s class, he pulled a 9mm handgun out of his pocket and shot her while she sat at a reading table. “It is a miracle that more people were not harmed,” Toscano wrote. “The shooter spent his entire recess with a gun in his pocket, a gun that was loaded and ready to fire ... while lots of first-grade students played.” The choking incident described was confirmed by the teacher. She said that in 2021, the boy came up behind her as she sat in a chair in the front of the class, locked his forearms in front of her neck and pulled back and down, hard. She said a teaching assistant pulled the boy off her.