The 6-year-old black student who shot his elementary school teacher Abigail Zwerner in Newport News, Virginia, in January will not face criminal charges.
Prosecutors said the “prospect that a 6-year-old can stand trial is problematic” given that a young child wouldn’t have the competency to understand the legal system, neither would they be able to understand what a charge means or adequately help an attorney in his case.
Prosecutor Howard Gynn said he hasn’t decided whether adults, in this case, could be held criminally liable.
Although Virginia law says a 6-year-old could be criminally charged theoretically, Gynn says he doesn’t believe there is a legal basis to charge the 6-year-old.
The shooting happened on Jan. 6 at Richneck Elementary school.
Officials said the young boy had behavioral issues and a pattern of troubling interactions with school staff and students.
While Zwerner sat at a reading table, the 6-year-old took a 9mm handgun and shot her.
Diane Toscano, an attorney for Zwerner, says the shooting was “entirely preventable” if the administration “had taken action when they had knowledge of imminent danger.”
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