6-Year-Old Boy Won't Face Charges For Shooting His Teacher

The 6-year-old accused of shooting his first grade teacher in January will not face aggravated assault charges.

via: HuffPost

Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn told NBC News on Wednesday that the “prospect that a 6-year-old can stand trial is problematic.”

Gwynn doubted that a young child would be able to understand the legal system, what a charge means or how to adequately assist an attorney.

Although a 6-year-old could be theoretically be criminally charged under Virginia law, Gwynn said he does not believe there is a legal basis to charge the child.

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

On Jan. 6, the unnamed boy reportedly brought a 9 mm handgun to school and intentionally shot his first grade teacher, Abby Zwerner, as she was teaching the class.

The 25-year-old teacher was hospitalized for nearly two weeks but is now recovering at home.

The boy’s parents said their child has an “acute disability” and was under a care plan that required at least one of his parents to be in his classroom every day.

The shooting happened during the first week when the child was unaccompanied by either parent, according to the parents’ statement.

“We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives,” the parents said.
In addition, school staff told administrators on three separate occasions that the child had brought a gun to class, Zwerner’s lawyer said in January.

Since the shooting, two metal detection systems have been installed at the school and two security officers have been assigned to the campus.

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