Former assistant principal charged in connection with 2023 shooting of teacher by 6-year-old student

April 11, 2024
Ebony Parker, who was assistant principal at Richneck Elementary in Newport News, Virginia, is charged with child abuse for allegedly failing to act on warnings that the 1st-grade student had a gun at school.

The former assistant principal of an elementary school in Newport News, Virginia, where a 6-year-old shot his teacher has been indicted on child abuse charges.

ABC News reports that Ebony Parker is charged with eight counts of felony child abuse in connection with the January 2023 shooting, which left first-grade teacher Abby Zwerner wounded.

Parker resigned from her position at Richneck Elementary School shortly after the shooting and has not made any public comments on it since.

The grand jury indicted Parker in March, but the documents remained under seal until this week. She is accused of failing to act on warnings that the boy had a gun in school that day.

The indictment charges Parker with eight counts -- "one count for each of the eight bullets that endangered all the students in Ms. Abigail Zwerner's first grade classroom," the Newport News Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said in a news release.

The special grand jury investigating the case said there were eight bullets in the gun. The child allegedly tried to fire a second time, but the gun jammed.

After the release of the grand jury report, Zwerner's lawyers released a statement: "The grand jury report reveals a systemic failure that led to the shooting of Abby Zwerner. Most shocking is the apparent coverup of disciplinary records before and after the shooting."

In a civil lawsuit, Zwerner is seeking $40 million in damages from the the Newport News school district, accusing administrators of negligence.

Zwerner said she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression and still has nightmares about the shooting.

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