Photo: Jay Paul/Getty Images
The family of the 6-year-old boy who shot and wounded his teacher earlier this month in Virginia said their son is “acutely disabled.”” and that the weapon he used to shoot the educator was “insured.”
In the first public comments made since the January incident, which shocked the city of Newport News, the family expressed their sympathy for the teacher in a statement issued by her attorney.
“Our hearts go out to our son’s teacher and we pray for her healing after such an unimaginable tragedy as she selflessly served our son and the children at school. She has worked diligently and compassionately to support our family as we searched for the best education and learning environment for our son,” she says.
The Richneck Elementary School first-grade teacher was previously identified as 25-year-old Abigail Zwerner.
The family said they had always been committed to “responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children.”
“The firearm that our son accessed was seized”the statement continued.
It is unclear how the boy accessed the 9mm pistol he used to shoot his teacher in the chest during class that day. Police described the shooting as “intentional” and said the gun used had been purchased legally by the boy’s mother. The family claims they have been cooperating with local and federal law enforcement to understand how the incident occurred.
The statement also said that the child was on a “plan of care” at school, which included a parent attending class with him every day, and that the week of the shooting had been the first week they had not been in class with their son.
“We will mourn our absence on this day for the rest of our lives,” the statement said.
The family did not specify the details of the “acute disability.”
The statement says that since the shooting, the boy has been under hospital care and receiving treatment. The family went on to thank their son’s medical team and those who have supported them during this “difficult time.”
“We continue to pray for the full recovery of her teacher and for her loved ones who are undoubtedly upset and concerned. At the same time, We love our son and ask that you include him and our family in your prayers.“.
No one has been charged and the investigation is ongoing. Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said interviews with the children who were in the classroom should be completed next week. He did not give an exact date on when the investigation would be completed or if charges would be filed.
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