The United States is again affected by a shooting in a school, perpetrated this time by a little boy of six years.

US authorities on Monday praised the heroism of a schoolteacher who was shot and wounded by a child, saying she "saved lives" by evacuating all the children from the class before receiving treatment.

Abigail Zwerner, 25, "saved lives on Friday," said Steve Drew, police chief of Newport News, Virginia (east), where the tragedy occurred in a press conference. a first grade class from Richneck Elementary School.

After an undisclosed discussion with his teacher, a 6-year-old boy brandished a Taurus 9mm pistol.

Abigail Zwerner reached out in a defensive gesture, and the child fired a bullet that punctured the young woman's hand before entering her chest.

Still hospitalized on Monday, she was in stable condition, said Steve Drew.

"She made sure all the children left the class and she was the last to leave the room," he said.

“I think she saved lives, because I don't know what would have happened if those kids had stayed in the room.


Custody of the child was withdrawn from the parents

When law enforcement arrived minutes later, an unidentified school worker was trying to subdue the child, who punched her several times before being taken away in a car from police.

Between 16 and 20 children were in the room at the time of the tragedy and no one other than the teacher was injured.

Local authorities decided to temporarily remove custody of the child from his parents and have him admitted to a medical center where he was still on Monday, according to the police chief.

The weapon had been bought legally by his mother.

This is not the first time that the small town of Newport News, near the large naval base of Norfolk, has been the scene of a shooting in a school establishment.

In September 2021, two 17-year-olds were shot and wounded by another student at a high school in the city.

Shootings, especially in schools, are a scourge in the United States.

In May, a teenager killed 19 schoolchildren and two female teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

More than 44,000 gun deaths were recorded in the United States last year, half of them by suicide and the other half by murder, accident or self-defense, according to the website Gun Violence Archive.


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