6-year-old who shot Virginia teacher won’t face charges
03/09/2023 1:43 pm PST
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (TCD) -- The Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney announced this week that the 6-year-old who shot his teacher at school in January will not face charges related to the incident.
Howard Gwynn told WVEC-TV that the child "cannot form the requisite criminal intent to be guilty of an aggravated assault," and it’s "problematic" because the 6-year-old doesn’t know the "criminal justice system enough to be competent to stand trial."
Gwynn’s office is reportedly still reviewing the case to determine if anyone else will face charges.
In a statement released Thursday, March 9, the Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office said, "In spite of the national attention that this incomprehensible act has brought to our city, our objective is the same as it has always been — to be thorough, to be objective, and to apply the law to the facts fairly and impartially. And after that analysis is done, our objective is to charge any person with any crimes that we believe we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt."
The statement said the office will not discuss pending cases and will not comment further until the investigation is complete.
Abigail Zwerner, 25, was shot in her first-grade classroom at Richneck Elementary School Jan. 6 after an "altercation took place."
About two weeks after the shooting, the boy’s family released a statement in which the family said the gun the 6-year-old took to school was "secured."
ABC News reports the family wrote, "Our family has always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children," and they were working with law enforcement to "understand how this could have happened."
The child reportedly has "an acute disability and was under a care plan at the school" where his mother or father attends class with him every day.
They wrote, "The week of the shooting was the first week when we were not in class with him. We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives."
According to NBC News, school officials were alerted the day of the shooting that the child likely had a gun with him.
In January, Zwerner’s attorney, Diane Toscano, called the incident "entirely preventable" and that they could have avoided the "imminent danger."
Toscano said, "But instead, they failed to act, and Abby was shot."
Zwerner suffered a gunshot wound to the hand and chest but made sure to get her students to safety.
- Prosecutor: Law doesn't support charging 6-year-old who shot teacher at Richneck - WVEC
- Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Releases Statement in Reference to Richneck Shooting Investigation - Newport News Police Department
- 6-year-old who shot teacher won't face charges, prosecutor says - NBC News
- Family of 6-year-old who shot teacher speaks out for 1st time, 1/19/2023 - ABC News
- 6-year-old in custody after allegedly shooting teacher at Virginia school, 1/9/2023 - TCD
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