Virginia teacher shot by 6-year-old student to sue school district, alleging administrators were warned of gun

The Virginia teacher who was shot by a 6-year-old student during class plans to sue the school district, according to the teacher’s attorney.

Diane Toscano, a lawyer for Abigail Zwerner, said Wednesday that on the day of the shooting, concerned teachers and employees warned administrators three times that the boy had a gun on him and was threatening other students, “but the administration could not be bothered.”

The boy shot 25-year-old Zwerner with a handgun owned by his mother as she taught class at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News on Jan. 6.

“Our heart goes out to our son’s teacher and we pray for her healing in the aftermath of such an unimaginable tragedy as she selflessly served our son and the children in the school,” the child’s family said Jan. 19 in a statement issued by their attorney.

VIRGINIA SCHOOL DOWNPLAYED WARNINGS FROM TEACHER BEFORE SHE WAS SHOT BY 6-YEAR-OLD BOY

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, Virginia, on Jan. 9, 2023.

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, Virginia, on Jan. 9, 2023. (AP/John C. Clark)

The statement said the weapon used in the shooting, which police said was a 9-millimeter Taurus handgun, had been “secured.” 

The family also said in its statement that the boy has an “acute disability” and was under a care plan “that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.” The week of the shooting was the first when a parent was not in class with him, the family said.

FAMILY OF 6-YEAR-OLD VIRGINIA STUDENT WHO SHOT HIS TEACHER BREAKS SILENCE, INSISTS GUN WAS SECURED

Abby Zwerner was shot in the abdomen by a 6-year-old student who had brought a gun to school.

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

Police Chief Steve Drew has repeatedly characterized the shooting as “intentional,” saying the boy aimed at Zwerner and fired one round, striking her in the hand and chest. Zwerner was hospitalized for nearly two weeks but is now recovering at home, a hospital spokesperson said.

Police respond to a shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, on Jan. 6, 2023.

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

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The Newport News School Board will hold a special meeting Wednesday evening to vote on a separation agreement and severance package for Superintendent George Parker III, according to a posted agenda. The board is also scheduled to vote on a new interim superintendent.

Fox News’ Greg Norman and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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