Boy, 6, Who Shot Teacher Bragged Afterward: Documents

Documents reveal statement of reading specialist who detained Virginia boy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
Boy, 6, Bragged After Shooting Teacher: Documents
Messages of support for teacher Abby Zwerner, who was shot by a 6-year-old student, grace the front door of Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Va., on Jan. 9, 2023.   (AP Photo/John C. Clark, File)

Newly unsealed search warrants in the case of a Virginia elementary school teacher shot by a 6-year-old student reveal that the child allegedly told a reading specialist who restrained him after the incident, "I shot that b---- dead," WAVY reports. The documents also reveal that the first-grader told school officials, "I did it. I got my mom's gun last night," CNN reports. The reading specialist told police that two students reported to her before the shooting that the student had a gun in his bag, but that no gun was found when she and a school administrator searched the bag during recess.

The documents also reveal teacher Abigail Zwerner's statement to police from the hospital; she said that the class had just broken up into reading groups after recess when the boy drew the gun, and that she asked him, "What are you doing with that?" She said he then paused before shooting. She also told detectives about several other disciplinary incidents involving violence or threats of violence from the boy, and the documents also include an interview with the child's kindergarten teacher, who says he once choked her until she couldn't breathe, and had to be forcibly removed by a teaching assistant.

The boy suffers from an "acute disability," his family has said in the past. "The child had extreme emotional issues, and we are all working to see that he improves every day," a family lawyer says. "He's obviously got a lot of issues, and he's in therapy. We're all pulling for his continued improvement." Zwerner is suing the school board and several administrators for allegedly failing to protect her despite repeated warnings about the boy, and the child's mother pleaded guilty to charges over the incident. (Read more Virginia stories.)

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