Parents of boy, 6, who shot teacher say gun was ‘secured’ – as 25-year-old released from hospital | US News

The family of a six-year-old boy who shot and injured his teacher have said they have always been committed to responsible gun ownership and that the weapon he used was “safe”.

Abigail Ziverner, who is still recovering from a gunshot wound and has been described as a hero by police and academics, was released from Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, Virginia earlier this week. had gone.

The 25-year-old teacher was shot in the chest by a student at Richneck Elementary School on Jan. 6, with injuries initially believed to be life-threatening. But now he continues his recovery as an outpatient with the support of his family, friends and health professionals.

Meanwhile, the child’s family released a statement on Friday revealing that he suffers from a “severe disability” and is usually accompanied in class by a parent.

“Our family has always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children,” the statement said.

“The firearm our son had access to was safe.”

The family did not provide further details about where the 9 mm handgun was kept or what they mean by “safe.”

The ‘sad’ absence of family

The statement added that the boy “has a severe disability and was under a care plan at school in which either his mother or father accompanied him to school and accompanied him to class every day”.

The family said the week of the shooting was “the first week we weren’t in class with him”. “We will regret our absence that day for the rest of our lives.”

Parents walk with children outside Richnick Elementary School, where a six-year-old boy shot and wounded a teacher, according to police, in Newport News, Virginia, U.S., Jan. 6, 2023. In this screen grab from the handout video.  WVEC via ABC/Handout via REUTERS This photo was provided by a third party New Zealand.  No commercial or editorial sales in New Zealand.  outside the United States.  No commercial or editorial sales in the United States.  No resales.  No archives.  Compulsory credit.  Do not OB.
Parents walk with children outside Richneck Elementary where the shooting happened.

Newport News-based attorney James S. Allanson issued a statement to the family, his first public communication since the shooting nearly two weeks ago.

According to police, the child’s mother purchased the gun legally, but it is unclear how she gained access to it.

A Virginia law prohibits leaving a loaded gun where it is accessible to a child under 14 and classifies it as a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of one year in prison and There is a $2,500 (£2,027) fine.

‘unprecedented event’

Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said no charges have been filed against the mother, but the investigation is ongoing.

When asked whether the boy’s parents would be held accountable for the incident, Mr. Drew said he wanted to make sure detectives could do a thorough investigation without rushing it, calling the shooting “an unprecedented event”.

At the time, officials said there was no warning or struggle before the shooting, which happened while Ms. Zorner was teaching her class.

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Robert Walters went to his granddaughter’s school as soon as he heard about the shooting.

Teacher ‘worked hard’ to support family

In a statement from the boy’s family, describing the child’s relationship with Ms. Zurner, they said: “Our hearts go out to our son’s teacher and we pray for his recovery after this unimaginable tragedy. Selflessly served our son and children in school.

“She has worked diligently and compassionately to support our family as we sought the best education and learning environment for our son,” the statement continued.

“We thank her for her courage, grace and sacrifice. We grieve with all the other teachers, families and administrators for how this horrific event has affected them, our community and the nation.”

The child has been in hospital care since the shooting and “requires treatment,” he added.

“We continue to pray for his teacher’s full recovery and for his loved ones who are no doubt distraught and worried,” the statement said.

“At the same time, we love our son and ask that you keep him and our family in your prayers.”

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