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Child Will Not Be Charged for Shooting Teacher

On January 6, 2023, there were multiple reports about the 6-year-old child who shot his teacher, Abigail Zwerner, in Newport News, Virginia. The incident was a cause for tension and uproar all over the country, and many demanded some action or justice for the horrific situation. This article covers the updates on the situation. On March 9, 2023, it was released that the child would not be faced with any charges. Although the child will be void of any legal consequences, it is still uncertain if adults connected to the event will take criminal responsibility instead.


It was determined that the decision was made based on the fact that the child was so young. Due to his age, he would be unable to grasp the American legal system or any counsel fully. Furthermore, Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn stressed that while the situation is not viewed lightly, it is essential not to rush any decision. He stated, “‘Our objective is not just to do something as quickly as possible.” Instead, ongoing investigations have been conducted to delve into the patterns and signs of bad behavior from the 6-year-old child that led up to the event.


Under Virginia law, a child this young could be charged, but authorities will unlikely take that route. On the other hand, Abigail Zwerner, the shooting victim, reported that she warned the school administration several times of the child’s bad behavior, but no action was taken. Moreover, according to Zwerner’s attorney, “the boy had a history of disturbing behavior, including cursing at staff members, trying to whip students with his belt, and choking a teacher.” Currently, the teacher intends to file a lawsuit against the school district.


The child’s parents have made little commentary, but they did share that he suffered from an “‘acute disability’” of some kind. Regarding the gun he carried into the school, the parents claimed that the weapon had been out of reach.


On a final note, legal teams are still investigating the situation and are actively trying to determine possible prosecutions. No further information has been released, and authorities are looking to interview the parents in-depth to discern how to proceed with the charges.


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