Virginia teacher shooting: School officials may have know 6-year-old had gun

School Shooting Newport News (Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
School Shooting Newport News (Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

School officials in Virginia reportedly knew that a 6-year-old boy may have had a gun before he used it to shoot his teacher, according to the Associated Press. The district’s superintendent made the claim.

In early January, a 6-year-old student at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, brought a gun to school and used it to shoot his 25-year-old teacher, Abigail Zwerner.

Superintendent George Parker told parents on Thursday night during an online meeting that a school official had been notified about the gun before the shooting occurred.

"At least one administrator was notified of a possible weapon in the timeline that we’re reviewing and was aware that that student had — that there was a potential that there was a weapon on campus," he told parents, according to broadcaster WAVY-TV.

The online meeting had reportedly been intended for parents only, but the broadcaster managed to gain access to the meeting from a concerned parent.

It was not made clear during the meeting how officials learned about the gun or why it was not confiscated by school officials.

The city’s police chief, Steve Drew, has described the shooting as intentional. He previously revealed that the student brought the gun into school by hiding it in a backpack. The chief said the child used his mother’s gun in the shooting.

The gun had been purchased legally, according to WTOP.

Earlier on Thursday the schoolboard’s chair, Lisa Surles-Law, said that the district would install metal detectors in all of its school, beginning with Richneck.

Ms Zwerner is expected to recover from the shooting.

The teacher was called a hero after the public learned that, despite being shot, she still shepherded her other students to safety and made sure they were secure before seeking help for herself.

“I believe she did save lives, because I don’t know what else might have happened if those kids would have stayed in that room,” Mr Drew said of Ms Zwerner during a Monday news conference.