Lawyer states "Gun used by child who shot teacher was in fact secured"

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia — The family of a 6-year-old boy who shot and critically injured his teacher in Virginia said Thursday that the gun he used had been "secured."

An attorney released the family's statement, which did not go into detail about where the 9mm handgun was kept. The family was also unidentified.

“Our family has always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children,” stated the family, “The firearm our son accessed was secured.”



The family also claimed the boy “suffers from an acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.”

According to the family, the week of the shooting “was the first week when we were not in class with him. We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.”

The statement was issued by Newport News-based attorney James S. Ellenson's office.


The shooting happened on January 6th, while Abigail Zwerner was teaching her first grade class at Richneck Elementary in Newport News.

Zwerner's hand was pierced by the bullet, which struck her in the chest. Before being rushed to the hospital, the 25-year-old teacher rushed her students out of the classroom.

According to Newport News police, the 6-year-mother old's legally purchased the gun, but it is unclear how her son obtained access to it.

A Virginia law makes leaving a loaded gun where a child under the age of 14 a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. So far, no charges have been filed against the mother.


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