US teacher shot in chest by 6-year-old student ‘on purpose’

A seriously wounded first grade teacher who was intentionally shot by a six-year-old student in the classroom is being hailed a hero for warning other children to run to safety amid the gunfire.

Abby Zwerner, 25, was identified by FOX3 Now News as the teacher who was shot in the chest Friday at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia.

Ms. Zwerner, of nearby Williamsburg, Virginia, was rushed to Riverside Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, where she remained in critical condition, on New York Post reports

There were no other injuries reported.

Sebastian Gonzalez-Hernández, whose own six-year-old son was also in the classroom during the shooting, praised Ms. Zwerner for being so selfless.

“She yelled at her kids to run” immediately after being hit by a single bullet, she told FOX3.

Mr. Gonzalez-Hernandez said his son did not see what happened, but when the boy heard the gunshot, he turned and saw Ms. Zwerner on the ground.

“She is a great teacher who works a lot. My son loves him very much and we are all very sad about what happened,” said the father. “We are all thinking of her and hope she gets better soon.”

She later said on Facebook: “Praying for my son’s first grade teacher who was shot today by a 6 year old boy at Richneck Elementary! She is the best teacher and I really hope she makes it.”

The young student who allegedly fired the gun was arrested.

Another six-year-old student who witnessed the shooting said so The Daily Press that her classmate shot her teacher “on purpose” and that she fell to her knees after being caught.

Police Chief Steve Drew told reporters at a press conference Friday that “it was not an accidental shooting. It was in a classroom and there was a fight.”

Authorities said it was not immediately clear what sparked the argument or how the boy managed to get the gun.

The grandmother of one of Ms. Zwerner’s students said another student brought “shiny gold bullets” to school last week, but it’s unclear if her own youth is in custody, FOX3 reported .

Messages left with Ms. Zwerner’s family and the school Saturday were not immediately returned.

However, Newport News Schools Superintendent George Parker said Friday that his “students got a lesson about gun violence and what guns can disrupt not only an educational environment, but a family, a community.”

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is reproduced with permission.

Originally Posted as Teacher Criticizes After 6-Year-Old Student Shot ‘On Purpose’

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