No charges for boy accused of shooting teacher Abby Zwerner

Abby Zwerner wears a yellow sweater and holds a sign that reads "Welcome to first class." She is smiling and looking straight at the camera.

Abby Zwerner, a first-grade teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, suffered “life-threatening” injuries after she was shot by a six-year-old student on Jan. 6, 2023. [Screengrab via GoFundMe]

After a Virginia prosecutor announced that a 6-year-old student would not be prosecuted for allegedly shooting his teacher dead, it’s unclear whether charges will ever be brought in the case.

The student, who has not been publicly identified, is said to have shot Abigail Zwerner, 25, on January 6 with a handgun he had brought to school from home. Police have determined the shooting, in which Zwerner suffered “life-threatening injuries,” was not an accident.

On Wednesday, Newport News Commonwealth Attorney Howard Gwynn told NBC News that he did not believe there was any legal basis to charge the child. He reportedly said that the “prospect of a six-year-old being able to stand trial is problematic” because such a young child would not be able to understand the legal system and participate in his or her own defence.

Gwynn told the network the investigation could still lead to criminal prosecution.

“Our goal isn’t just to do something as quickly as possible,” Gwynn reportedly said. “Once we have analyzed all the facts, we will charge any person or persons whom we believe we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt has committed a crime.”

Gwynn’s office did not immediately respond to a request from Law&Crime Thursday for an update on the investigation. No charges for boy accused of shooting teacher Abby Zwerner

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