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Family of 6-year-old who shot teacher speak out
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Abigail Zwerner/NBC

Family of 6-year-old who shot teacher speak out

Abigail Zwerner, 25, was shot in the chest by the youngster

The family of a six-year-old boy who shot his teacher have released a statement addressing the tragic incident.

Abigail Zwerner, 25, was shot in the chest by a student at Richneck Elementary School in Virginia, USA, on January 6.

While her injuries were initially considered to be life-threatening, her condition has now improved and she is reported to be in a stable condition.

Authorities said there was no warning before the boy pointed the gun at Abigail, with police chief Steve Drew describing the shooting as intentional.

Abigail Zwerner was shot by a six-year-old student.
Facebook/Abigail Zwerner

The youngster is being held at a medical facility following an emergency custody order.

Drew said the child used his mother’s gun, which had been purchased legally.

Virginia law prohibits leaving a loaded gun where it is accessible to a child under 14. However, the boy's family has now released a statement saying that the weapon was 'secured' and that their son is disabled.

NBC News reports that a statement from attorney James Ellenson reads: "Our family has always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children.

The scene at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia.
Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy Stock Photo

"The firearm our son accessed was secured. Our heart goes out to our son’s teacher and we pray for her healing in the aftermath of such an unimaginable tragedy as she selflessly served our son and the children in the school.

"She has worked diligently and compassionately to support our family as we sought the best education and learning environment for our son.

"We thank her for her courage, grace and sacrifice. We grieve alongside all of the other teachers, families and administrators for how this horrific incident has impacted them, our community, and the nation.

The teacher is in hospital and her condition has reportedly improved.
Abigail Zwerner/Facebook

“Our son suffers from an acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.

"Additionally, our son has benefitted from an extensive community of care that also includes his grandparents working alongside us and other caregivers to ensure his needs and accommodations are met.

"The week of the shooting was the first week when we were not in class with him. We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.”

Last week, the school system’s superintendent George Parker said administrators learned the youngster may have had a weapon on him before the shooting – but did not seize the handgun he brought to his classroom.

Parents waited anxiously to be reunited with their children after the shooting.
Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy Stock Photo

“At least one administrator was notified of a possible weapon in the timeline that we’re reviewing and was aware that that student had, there was a potential that there was a weapon on campus,” the superintendent told parents, according to a clip of the meeting broadcast by WAVY-TV.

The online meeting was for parents, but WAVY-TV reported the station gained access to the meeting from a parent.

Newport News School Board chair Lisa Surles-Law said the district will install metal detectors at all schools, starting with Richneck.

Topics: US News, Crime