Crime & Safety

Virginia minor, who shot and seriously injured a teacher early January with handgun taken from home, won’t face criminal charges

Newport, Virginia – In the wake of the recent announcement by a Virginia prosecutor that a 6-year-old student will not be facing criminal charges for allegedly shooting his teacher, questions linger as to whether charges will be filed at all in connection with this case. The student in question, whose identity remains undisclosed, reportedly brought a handgun to school from his home and allegedly shot Abigail Zwerner, 25, leaving her with life-threatening injuries on January 6. Police investigations have established that the shooting was not accidental.

Newport News Commonwealth Attorney Howard Gwynn has made it clear that he does not believe that there is a legal basis to charge the child. The announcement has sparked a flurry of opinions and concerns from various quarters as the decision not to prosecute the child has left many questioning what the possible outcomes of such a case could be. It is evident that the prospect of a child that young standing trial is fraught with difficulties as they may not have the cognitive ability to understand the legal system or participate in their own defense.

Despite Gwynn’s recent announcement that there would be no legal basis to charge the 6-year-old student, the prosecutor has hinted that investigations into the incident could still result in criminal prosecution. This news will undoubtedly raise further questions and concerns as to what this could mean for the young child, who is likely already traumatized by the incident.

The decision not to prosecute the child may have been made in the best interest of the child’s welfare, the prospect of further criminal prosecution has the potential to cause significant harm to both the child and their family. It remains to be seen what course of action will be taken in this case, but it is clear that the legal system faces significant challenges in handling such a delicate matter.

Newport News Commonwealth Attorney Howard Gwynn, however, hinted that charges might be filed soon, but didn’t disclose more details into the matter. This is what he said:

“Our objective is not just to do something as quickly as possible,” Gwynn reportedly said. “Once we analyze all the facts, we charge any person or persons that we believe we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt committed a crime.”

Our team tried to get in touch with Gwynn without success. So far, no additional details into the investigation are presented to the public.

Law and Crime recently reported about a statement given by the boy’s parents regarding the incident. Per their statement, the gun had been secured, and their child had an “acute disability” that normally included one of his parents coming to school with him. In the meantime, the attorney representing the teacher, Diane Toscano, had informed the public that the minor “had a history of violence” including apparently choking a teacher until she couldn’t breathe. In addition, he stated that school officials and security officers were informed that the child had a gun with him that day, but the allegedly decided to ignore the warnings.

“The administration could not be bothered,” Diane Toscano said in a late-January press conference, adding that one school administrator downplayed the risk, saying that the boy “has little pockets.”

This incident caused a lot of turbulence. Shortly after the case broke the news, the school’s leadership, including the superintendent, resigned from their positions.

This is a developing story. Stay with us for more updates when available.

Viola Higgins

I’m a mother of 2 little angels that I continuously try to figure out and spend the other half figuring out how to be a great wife. Writing is my passion and I write regularly for the Virginian Tribune and several other national news outlets.

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