Virginia boy, 6, who shot first-grade teacher, also choked another teacher ‘until she couldn’t breathe’
A Virginia boy who allegedly shot and wounded his first-grade teacher, also tried to choke another teacher, according to a legal notice filed by an attorney for the wounded teacher.
The six-year-old boy pulled out a handgun from his bag and allegedly fired at her teacher Abigail Zwerner while she was in the middle of a lesson at Richneck Elementary School on 6 January.
Ms Zwerner, 25, evacuated as many as 20 children into the hallway during the shooting despite being wounded in the chest.
Diane Toscano, an attorney for the teacher, described prior behavioural issues of the boy in a notice to the Newport News school district.
The boy once choked another teacher “until she couldn’t breathe”, the document obtained by the Associated Press said.
The notice was sent to the school district to inform that Ms Zwerner intends to sue for not following “proper protocol” and not acting on the complaints regarding the boy.
It claimed that the boy allegedly “slammed” Ms Zwerner’s cellphone and broke it just two days before the shooting.
He was suspended for a day, but he returned to class and pulled out a handgun at Ms Zwerner.
Several hours before the shooting, at least three teachers and staff members warned school authorities that they suspected the boy had brought a gun to school, the document said.
His backpack was searched but no gun was found and the boy was not removed from the class.
Ms Zwerner went to the then assistant principal Ebony Parker’s office on the same day “to advise her that the shooter seemed more ‘off’ than usual and was in a violent mood”.
The boy threatened to beat a kindergarten student and “angrily stared down” at the school’s security officer, the notice added.
“Assistant principal Parker should have called police, instead she did not follow proper protocol and chose to do absolutely nothing,” the notice stated.
Ms Parker, who resigned from her position following the shooting, did not comment on the claims.
Len Wallin, director of legal services for the school system, said the school district’s insurer will decide if it will represent Ms Parker or not “after consultation with the school board, if that is necessary”.