The six-year-old boy who intentionally fired a gun at his first-grade teacher was moments away from having the weapon confiscated from him and may never be charged with a crime because of his age.
The first-grade class at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia had just finished reading a story and were about to head to an art class when the youngster pulled out the handgun.
‘She was going to confiscate it, and that’s when he shot,’ Brittaney Gregory, whose son was also in the class, told the Washington Post.
The children then raced out of their classroom and into another one for safety where they stayed in a lockdown.
Brittaney Gregory, whose son Ja’Corri goes to first grade at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia said the teacher was about to confiscate a gun when she was shot
Teacher, Abby Zwerner, 25, was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries but is now in serious but stable condition
Chief Steve Drew (pictured) met with Abby Zwerner, 25, and her family on Saturday morning and said in a statement her condition is improving
Abby Zwerner, 25, the boy’s first-grade teacher was rushed to hospital with critical injuries on Friday.
Although the child in still in custody, it is unlikely he will ever be charged with any crime.
‘As a practical matter, it would be next to impossible to prosecute a six-year-old, no matter how serious,’ said Andrew Block, associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Law.
Block noted that the ‘infancy defense,’ means that people younger than seven do not have the mental ability to form the intent to commit a crime.
‘The bigger barrier, presuming the prosecution could overcome that, is all defendants have to be competent to stand trial,’ Block said. ‘That means you have to understand the nature of legal proceedings against you and assist in your own defense. There’s no way a six-year-old would meet that criteria.
‘The juvenile justice system would not be equipped to handle such a young kid.’
An adult could well face misdemeanor charges as under Virginia law, guns need to be secured from children under the age of 14.
FACE MUZZED – Brittaney Gregory, whose son Ja’Corri attends first grade sats her son has suffered nightmares in the nights since the shooting
‘There’s way more we don’t know than we do,’ Block said. ‘I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the teacher or teacher’s family; it’s horrible in every single direction.’
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew met with Zwerner and her family on Saturday morning.
Her wounds have been described as life-threatening but her condition is improving and she is now in serious but stable condition.
Gregory’s son said that the teacher who was shot was his favorite describing her as both bubbly and outgoing.
She was also someone who fostered love and encouragement among her young pupils sometimes leaving surprise notes in the children’s backpacks.
‘I hope you had a great day,’ one read. ‘I want you to know your smile is contagious,’ said another.
‘She’s such a sweet lady,’ Gregory explained to The Post. ‘She’s very attentive to the kids.’
Abby Zwerner (pictured), 25, a first-grade teacher at Richneck Elementary School, was rushed to hospital with critical injuries on Friday after she was shot in the chest by a 6-year-old boy
Her son has had nightmares in the nights since the shooting.
‘He normally sleeps in his own room but the night of the shooting he came into my room. He was talking in his sleep, saying we got to get out of here,’ Gregory said who is now planning to take her son to a therapist this week.
Gregory believes her son was deeply affected by what he saw and experienced.
‘He’s normally a talker, but he stumbled over his words. I was so relieved,’ she added. ‘But you could tell on his face what he was going through. He was a deer in the headlights.’
‘The individual is a six-year-old student and is right now in police custody,’ Chief Drew said at a press conference on Friday. ‘This was not an accidental shooting.
Gregory’s son, pictured above, said that the teacher who was shot was his favorite, describing her as both ‘bubbly and outgoing’
Zwerner has been described as a teacher who fostered love and encouragement among her young pupils sometimes leaving surprise notes in the children’s backpacks
‘It was in a classroom, an altercation took place there,’ he said. ‘We did not have a situation where someone was going around the school shooting. We had a situation in one particular location where a gunshot was fired.’
Classes have been canceled on Monday and Tuesday for all of the 550 students at the school which teaches from kindergarten through fifth grade.
‘It’s very devastating,’ Gregory said of the shooting, never believing such a thing would be possible in her son’s school. ‘It’s sad that such a young child holds so much anger.’
A crowd of parents waited outside Richneck Elementary School after the 2pm shooting where a six-year-old allegedly shot his teacher on purpose after an ‘altercation’
Zwerner was shot in the chest at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News at 2pm Friday
A grandmother of one of the students told DailyMail.com that a student brought ‘shiny gold bullets’ to school last week, but it is unclear if it is the same child who was taken into custody today.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, she said: ‘The parents outside stated that their child told them a kid brought golden shiny bullets to school and was thinking about bringing his gun. The student told the parent, who informed the school.
‘And the school just yesterday got back to the parent saying the parent of the kid said it was a nerf bullet and the parent said nerf bullets aren’t shiny and gold.’
She was not positive if the child who brought in the ‘bullets’ is the same child allegedly involved in last week’s shooting.
Carlos Glover, nine, (pictured) was seen leaving the school with his mother Joselin after the shooting. A student has been taken into custody, but police have not released the student’s name
The shooting occurred in the classroom and was an isolated incident. Officers are still trying to determine how to managed to get the weapon
Parent, Sebastian Gonzalez-Hernandez confirmed Zwerner’s identity.
He said ‘she screamed at her kids to run away’ after the student fired a single bullet.
‘Even after she’d been shot she was thinking about the safety of her children,’ Gonzalez-Hernandez said.
His own six-year-old, who he did not wish to name, was in the classroom when the gunshot went off.
‘My son didn’t see what happened, he heard the gunshot go off, and turned around to see Miss Zwerner on the floor,’ he told DailyMail.com on Friday.
‘She is an amazing teacher, so dedicated. My son absolutely loves her, and we’re devastated about what’s happened. We are all thinking of her and hoping that she gets better soon.’