US Town ‘Wraps its Mind’ Around 6-Year-Old School Shooter

The mayor of Newport News, Virginia says the city is working to ensure that the elementary school child who shot a teacher Friday receives the support and services he needs.

In the statement issued on the city’s website Saturday Mayor Phillip Jones said, “It is almost impossible to wrap our minds around the fact that a 6-year-old 1st grader brought a loaded handgun to school and shot a teacher; however, this is exactly what our community is grappling with today.”

The shooting happened at Richneck Elementary School.  Neither the child nor his teacher have been identified by the police.

However, Jonathan R. Alger, president of James Madison University, located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, posted a statement on Facebook identifying the teacher as a university alumna, Abby Zwerner.  The statement also said “JMU is prepared to support those impacted by this incident now and in the weeks to come.”

The boy was taken into custody.  Police said the shooting was not accidental.

It was not immediately clear how the child was able to obtain the gun.

No one else was hurt in the incident.

School Superintendent George Parker, III said in a statement Saturday that the teacher is in stable condition.  Initially the teacher’s injuries were said to be life-threatening.

“There are many concerns that we will need to unpack,” Parker said, “before we will be able to determine if any additional preventive measures would have impacted the probability of this incident occurring.” 

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