Prosecutors in Virginia have reportedly decided that charging the six-year-old first-grader who shot his teacher in front of his peers earlier this year would be too “problematic”; however, they have not yet decided whether or not to charge his parents.
According to Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn, there is likely no legal foundation to charge the 6-year-old because he lacks the capacity to comprehend the legal system or the seriousness of the charges. However, if the proof demonstrates that the 9mm handgun was not secured when the boy brought it to Richneck Elementary School on January 6 and fired on 25-year-old Abigail Zwerner, his parents may find themselves in trouble.
One of the students’ parents reportedly revealed that the student pulled out the handgun, as the class was getting ready to leave for an art lesson. This prompted Zwerner to attempt to seize it away from the boy, but the little one pulled the trigger and the bullet entered her chest through her hand.
A loaded gun cannot be left where a child under the age of 14 can access it, according to Virginia law. This is a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum one-year prison term and a $2,500 fine. The parents, who are not currently facing legal charges, have maintained that the legally-bought firearm was locked with a trigger lock on the top shelf of the mother’s closet. Uncertainty surrounds the boy’s ability to take the gun, conceal it in his backpack, and try to kill Zwerner while she was seated at a reading table.
One day after her 6-year-old brought the handgun into class, a Norfolk mother was reportedly hit with several charges in a case identical to this. According to Gwynn, charges in the case would be brought either by a grand jury or after consulting with the authorities.
Zwerner, who survived the shooting, is now suing the school system for failing to address her concerns about the student in a timely manner in the weeks before the shooting. The pupil, according to the 25-year-old teacher, has a history of behavior problems that have been repeatedly reported to administrators.
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