Another School Shooting, but This Time the Shooter is 6-Years-Old

By: Trisha Brahmachari—Editor-in-Chief

School shootings in America have been on the rise: in the year of 2022 alone, 51 school shootings completely altered the course of many American lives. 

The school day on Friday was proceeding as normal when Richneck Elementary School was met by horror in the afternoon. Just six days into the new year, a six-year-old boy shot his teacher. 

“It’s a very difficult thing to process,” said Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones.

“The fact that we have a 6-year-old individual with the ability to bring a gun into school and harm his teacher – something that we’re still grappling with,” he added. 

Superintendent Dr. George Parker agrees with the surprising nature of the incident. “I’m in shock, and I’m disheartened,” Parker said. 

“We need to educate our children and we need to keep them safe,” he added. 

In response to the accident, the elementary school will remain closed Monday and Tuesday in an effort to allow for some time for the community to heal. 

Superintendent Parker asks for support from the community, and believes that something needs to be done about the access young children have to weapons. “We need the community’s support, continued support, to make sure that guns are not available to youth and I’m sounding like a broken record today, because I continue to reiterate that: that we need to keep the guns out of the hands of our young people,” the superintendent said.

The police have stated that this incident was intentional. “…this was not an accidental shooting,” said Police Chief Steve Drew

Drew also reported a bit about how the accident occurred. He says the teacher was “providing class instruction when the 6-year-old child displayed a firearm, pointed it at her and fired one round,” he said. 

The gun used was legally purchased by the mother of the 6-year-old and the suspect brought it to school in his backpack. It is currently unclear how the suspect obtained the weapon. 

“While no amount of planning can guarantee that a tragedy such as this will not occur; please know that our collective efforts and preparation resulted in immediate medical care for our faculty member, no injuries to students, and a safe and efficient reunification process for our families and students,” said Parker.

The teacher, Abby Zwerner, has injuries that were originally described as life-threatening, but is now said to be in stable condition.

“My heart is aching for our school community. My thoughts and prayers remain with our teacher who was seriously injured, and our students and our staff, who are dealing with the aftereffects of this tragedy,” Parker said.

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