Parents of Six-Year-Old Virginia Student Who Shot His Teacher Issue Statement, Says He Suffers From ‘Acute Disability’
The parents of the six-year-old Virginia student who shot his first-grade teacher have issued a statement about the incident.
The Richneck Elementary school teacher Abby Zwerner was hospitalized for two weeks after the shooting.
Zwerner was discharged from the hospital on Thursday but still has a long recovery ahead of her.
Spokesperson Angela Arcieri told local station News 3 that Zwerner “continues her recovery as an outpatient with the support of family, friends, and health professionals. The Zwerner family respectfully asks for privacy during this time.”
At this time, nobody has been charged in the incident, but the commonwealth’s attorney’s office will determine if the child’s mother will face charges, according to a report from WAVY.
The parents of the student have now spoken out publicly for the first time since the shooting. The family has not been publicly identified at this time.
In a letter obtained by WAVY, the parents said that the student is currently under hospital care and “receiving the treatment he needs.”
The family says that he suffers from “acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.”
The full statement reads as follows:
Our heart goes out to our son’s teacher and we pray for her healing in the aftermath of such an unimaginable tragedy as she selflessly served our son and the children in the school. She has worked diligently and compassionately to support our family as we sought the best education and learning environment for our son. We thank her for her courage, grace and sacrifice. We grieve alongside all of the other teachers, families and administrators for how this horrific incident has impacted them, our community, and the nation.
We have been cooperating with local and federal law enforcement to understand how this could have happened. We have found there are no easy answers or simple explanations, but we would like to share additional facts previously unknown to the public in hopes that they may ease the dissonance we are all grappling with and prevent something like this from happening again.
Our family has always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children. The firearm our son accessed was secured.
While our son’s privacy interests are important, transparency in this matter is a valid community interest. Our son suffers from an acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day. Additionally, our son has benefitted from an extensive community of care that also includes his grandparents working alongside us and other caregivers to ensure his needs and accommodations are met. The week of the shooting was the first week when we were not in class with him. We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.
Since this incident, our son has been under hospital care and receiving the treatment he needs. We thank our son’s medical treatment team as well as our family, friends, and all others who have offered support during this difficult time. We continue to pray for his teacher’s full recovery, and for her loved ones who are undoubtedly upset and concerned. At the same time, we love our son and are asking that you please include him and our family in your prayers.
A GoFundMe fundraiser for the teacher has raised over $225,000.
The school has remained closed since the shooting.