Virginia teacher shot by 6-year-old student breaks her silence
Abigail Zwerner, a Virginia school teacher who was shot and seriously wounded by a six-year-old student who had brought a gun to class, has spoken out about her at times painful recovery process.
"Some days are not so good days, where I can’t get up out of bed. Some days are better than others, where I’m able to get out of bed and make it to my appointments," Ms Zwerner, 25, told Savannah Guthrie of NBC News’sTODAY, in an interview airing on Tuesday.
The teacher suffered wounds to the hand, chest, broken bones, and a collapsed lung, a combination of injuries that required multiple surgeries. She told TODAY the arduous healing process hasn’t deterred her.
"But, you know, for going through what I’ve gone through, I try to stay positive," she said. "You know, try to have a positive outlook on what’s happened and where my future’s heading."
The first-grand teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News was wounded on 6 January by a student with a 9mm handgun.
The instructor plans to file a lawsuit against the district, alleging security issues.
“I can tell you there were failures on multiple levels in this case, and there were adults that were in positions of authority that could have prevented this tragedy from happening and did not,” her attorney, Diane Toscano, told NBC News.
An assistant principal and the district’s superintendent have already resigned.
The six-year-old in the case, who wielded his mother’s legally purchased gun, will not face charges.
Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn said earlier this month that his office would not bring charges against the youngster and said that the “prospect that a 6-year-old can stand trial is problematic,” though adults in his life may come under scrutiny.
“Our objective is not just to do something as quickly as possible,” Mr Gwynn said. “Once we analyze all the facts, we will charge any person or persons that we believe we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt committed a crime.”
The parents of the child have said the six-year-old has an acute disability and usually has a parent with him in the schoolroom, though one wasn’t present the day of the shooting. The family also said they kept their gun on a high shelf in a closet with a trigger lock, and didn’t support children having access to firearms.