Newport News Public Schools
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Virginia first-grader who shot his teacher won't face charges

March 10, 2023
Prosecutors say there isn't a legal basis to charge a 6-year-old child.

Prosecutors in Newport News, Va., say they will not seek charges against the 6-year-old boy who shot his first-grade teacher.

NBC News reports that Newport News Commonwealth's Attorney Howard Gwynn does not believe there is a legal basis to charge a child.

The shooting on Jan. 6 at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News seriously wounded the teacher, Abigail Zwerner. It also has resulted in the ouster of the Newport News district superintendent and the school's assistant principal, and the installation of metal detectors.

According to a lawyer for Zwerner, a first-grade teacher, the boy had behavioral issues and a pattern of troubling interactions with school staff and other students.

Zwerner, 25, was wounded in a hand and her chest, but police said she still managed to safely escort about 20 students out of her classroom. She was hospitalized for nearly two weeks.

Police said the child's mother legally purchased the gun he used, but haven't specified how he obtained it or if it was safely secured as the family has claimed.

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