Virginia school shooting: Teacher a hero who saved her students’ lives after being shot, police say

The 6-year-old boy who shot his teacher last week in the middle of a lesson at a Virginia elementary school brought a gun from home that was legally purchased by his mother, Newport News police Chief Steve Drew said at a news conference on Monday.

The first-grade teacher, 25-year-old Abby Zwerner, was struck in the hand and upper chest but still ushered 17 to 20 other students out of the classroom.

“Ms. Zwerner was the last person to leave that class. She made a right turn and started down the hallway, and then she stopped. She turned around to make sure that every one of those students was safe,” Drew said Monday.

Abby Zwerner was shot in the upper chest on Friday by a 6-year-old student who had brought a gun to school.
(Facebook/Abby Zwerner)

No altercation took place before the shooting, Drew said, noting that the boy raised the gun and fired once at Zwerner, who took a defensive position.

VIRGINIA TEACHER SHOT BY 6-YEAR-OLD IDENTIFIED, PARENTS DEMAND ACTION

Another school employee rushed into the classroom and restrained the boy, who became combative, according to Drew.

Zwerner’s injuries were initially considered life-threatening, but she is now in stable condition and still being treated at a hospital.

Police respond to a shooting at Richneck Elementary School, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 in Newport News, Va.
(Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

A shooting in a classroom at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Va., happened on Friday after an altercation between a student and a teacher, officials said.
(Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot, via Associated Press)

Police officers escorted the boy out of the classroom and confiscated the firearm, a 9-millimeter Taurus handgun. His mother has been interviewed by law enforcement.

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Drew said that once investigators confer with the commonwealth attorney’s office about their investigation, charges could be filed against the mother.