PIC: Teacher, 25, left critically-ill after she was deliberately shot in chest ‘by boy aged SIX’


A first-grade teacher who cops say was deliberately shot in the chest by a six year-old boy is a 25 year-old heroine who screamed for her students to run to safety.

Abby Zwerner is the educator who was struck by the bullet in her classroom at Richneck Elemtary School in Newport News, Virginia, around 2pm Friday, DailyMail.com can reveal.  

She was rushed to hospital for surgery after. Officials said earlier this evening that Zwerner was critically-ill, and no further updates have been shared.  

Police said the boy, who has not been publicly identified, got into an ‘altercation’ with Zwerner, of Williamsburg, before shooting her.  

Parent, Sebastian Gonzalez-Hernandez confirmed Zwerner’s identity to DailyMail.com and also detailed her selflessness in the immediate aftermath.

He said ‘she screamed at her kids to run away’ after the student fired a single bullet. 

‘Even after she’d been shot she was thinking about the safety of her children,’ Gonzalez-Hernandez said. 

Abby Zwerner, 25, of Williamsburg, Virginia, was shot in the chest at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News around 2pm on Friday

Abby Zwerner, 25, of Williamsburg, Virginia, was shot in the chest at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News around 2pm on Friday

Parent, Sebastian Gonzalez-Hernandez, who confirmed Zwerner's identity to DailyMail.com, said 'she screamed at her kids to run away' after the student fired a single bullet

Parent, Sebastian Gonzalez-Hernandez, who confirmed Zwerner’s identity to DailyMail.com, said ‘she screamed at her kids to run away’ after the student fired a single bullet

His own six-year-old, who he did not wish to name, was in the classroom when the gunshot went off. 

‘My son didn’t see what happened, he heard the gunshot go off, and turned around to see Miss Zwerner on the floor,’ he told DailyMail.com on Friday.   

‘She is an amazing teacher, so dedicated. My son absolutely loves her, and we’re devastated about what’s happened. We are all thinking of her and hoping that she gets better soon.’

Zwerner was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center in critical condition and remains there. She was the only one injured. 

Police confirmed a six-year-old student had been the one to fire the terrifying shot, but authorities are still looking into how the first-grader managed to get a gun. 

‘This was not an accidental shooting,’ Newport News Chief Steve Drew said at a press conference on Friday. ‘It was in a classroom, an altercation took place there. We did not have a situation where someone was going around the school shooting. We had a situation in one particular location where a gunshot was fired.’

A grandmother of one of the students told DailyMail.com that a student brought ‘shiny gold bullets’ to school last week, but it is unclear if it is the same child who was taken into custody today.  

Gonzalez-Hernandez said the 25-year-old is an 'amazing teacher, so dedicated'

Gonzalez-Hernandez said the 25-year-old is an ‘amazing teacher, so dedicated’

Zwerner was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center in critical condition and remains there. She was the only one injured

Zwerner was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center in critical condition and remains there. She was the only one injured

The shooting occurred in the classroom and was an isolated incident. Officers are still trying to determine how the student managed to get the weapon

The shooting occurred in the classroom and was an isolated incident. Officers are still trying to determine how the student managed to get the weapon

The school (pictured) would be closed on Monday to work on the 'mental health of our staff and students'

The school (pictured) would be closed on Monday to work on the ‘mental health of our staff and students’ 

The grandmother, who asked not to be named, said the child had allegedly ‘brought bullets to school last week and said he would bring his gun.’

‘A parent told the school they did nothing, now look,’ she wrote on Facebook.  

Speaking to DailyMail.com, she said: ‘The parents outside stated that their child told them a kid brought golden shiny bullets to school and was thinking about bringing his gun. The student told the parent, who informed the school. And the school just yesterday got back to the parent saying the parent of the kid said it was a nerf bullet and the parent said nerf bullets aren’t shiny and gold.’ 

She was not positive if the child who brought the bullets is the same child allegedly involved in the shooting today. 

The school, however, does have the capability of metal detecting students, Superintendent George Parker said at the press conference. They do not perform the test on every student, every day, but said every school in the district has the capability to do so. 

‘When we have a perceived threat or issue, we do random metal detection on those days,’ Parker said on Friday. 

It is unclear if the school had enhanced testing after the bullet claim the week prior. 

‘Today, our students got a lesson in gun violence,’ Parker said. ‘We need to keep the guns out of the hands of our young people.’ 

A British parent of one of the students, who is currently based in the US as her husband is in the military, is now demanding the town do something about the gun problem. 

‘Guns, that’s the biggest problem in this country,’ she told WTKR. ‘Why is there a seven-year-old with a bloody gun? … How does a seven-year-old have a gun?

‘I’m only here because my husband is in the military. Otherwise, I would not have chosen to come to this country.’  

Chief Scott Drew said there was an alteration between the student and teacher before the shooting

Chief Scott Drew said there was an alteration between the student and teacher before the shooting  

Carlos Glover, nine, (pictured) was seen leaving the school with his mother Joselin after the shooting. A student has been taken into custody, but police have not released the student's name

Carlos Glover, nine, (pictured) was seen leaving the school with his mother Joselin after the shooting. A student has been taken into custody, but police have not released the student’s name 

A crowd of parents waited outside Richneck Elementary School after the 2pm shooting where a six-year-old allegedly shot his teacher on purpose after an 'altercation'

A crowd of parents waited outside Richneck Elementary School after the 2pm shooting where a six-year-old allegedly shot his teacher on purpose after an ‘altercation’ 

 Parker said the school would be closed on Monday to work on the ‘mental health of our staff and students.’  

Police say the incident is no longer an active situation, and it was an isolated incident. 

A six-year-old student told the Daily Press the shooter was a classmate.  

The six-year-old girl who witnessed the shooting said her classmate shot the female teacher ‘on purpose’ and the educator fell to her knees. 

A parent of a fourth-grade student said she received a text from the school that the shooting happened and that the suspect was in custody. 

‘My heart stopped. I was freaking out, very nervous. Just wondering if that one person was my son,’ Joselin Glover, who son is Carlos Glover, told the Daily Press. 

Despite her worry, she said the school handled the situation well. 

Mayor Phillip Jones agreed, saying: ‘The police did an amazing job, they were here very, very quickly along with the Sheriff’s Office. We are ensuring that everyone is safe, we are ensuring that everyone is accounted for.’ 

The Uvalde Foundation For Kids also commented on the devastating incident, saying in a statement: ‘Today’s incident highlights, yet again, the need to prioritize in this nation, the protection of our schools, our students and the communities who care for them.

‘Yet again, in another school in this nation; students are facing fear – instead of joy; lessons in violence – instead of peace. UNTIL those lessons change, our work continues.” 



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