A 25-year-old Virginia elementary school teacher who was shot on Friday by a six-year-old pupil has been hailed as a hero for evacuating other pupils from her classroom even after she was shot.
The Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew, told a news conference on Monday that the teacher, Abigail Zwerner, whom he described as outstanding, was in stable condition following the shooting at the Richneck Elementary School.
“She made sure that every one of those kids were out of that room, that she was the last one to leave. And she took it upon herself in that situation, after suffering a gunshot wound, to make sure that her students were safe,” Drew said.
Drew said the 6-year-old shooter was in temporary custody at a medical facility, and a judge has until Tuesday to determine whether to extend a temporary order keeping him in custody.
The police chief said the boy had taken the 9 mm Taurus handgun from home, placed it in his backpack and removed it while Zwerner was teaching class.
“He pointed and fired once. Zwerner, who took a defensive posture, was shot through the hand and into the chest.
“After the shot, another woman who works at the school rushed into the classroom and held the boy down while Zwerner escorted the 16 to 20 students out. When police arrived, they found the gun on the floor,” Drew said.
“I wish that we never had to have it asked. How does a 6-year-old know how to use a firearm? I don’t know that I could give you an adequate answer,” Drew added.
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