‘This was not an accidental shooting’: 6-year-old boy in custody after shooting at Newport News elementary school

JMU officials have identified the victim as alumna Abby Zwerner


James Madison University officials have identified the teacher shot by a 6-year-old student in Newport News as alumna Abby Zwerner.

At this time, Newport News police say Zwerner is still hospitalized but is in stable condition.


The Newport News Police Department said they have taken a six-year-old boy into custody after a shooting at Richneck Elementary School Friday.

Police Chief Steve Drew said the shooting happened in a classroom. He said after the 6-year-old and a teacher had an altercation, a single round was fired.

We’re told the teacher was shot and her injuries are considered to be life-threatening, police said.

[READ MORE: ‘My heart stopped’: Mom of Newport News elementary student speaks out after shooting]

“This was not an accidental shooting,” Drew said.

NNPD said that no students were hurt during the incident, which happened in a classroom during an altercation.

Drew said the responding officers and crews at the scene worked together to organize a release and keep students safe as they were assessing the situation.

“The number one priority for me was to get those students back with their families,” Drew said. “Those kids did an amazing job, and I could not be more proud of them.”

Joselin Glover, whose son is in fourth grade, told The Virginian-Pilot newspaper she got a text from the school stating that one person was shot and another was in custody, the AP reported.

“My heart stopped,” she said. “I was freaking out, very nervous. Just wondering if that one person was my son.”

Carlos, her 9-year-old, was at recess. But he said he and his classmates were soon holed up in the back of a classroom.

“Most of the whole class was crying,” Carlos told the newspaper.

The investigation is ongoing, according to Newport News PD.


One adult was hospitalized after a shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News on Friday, according to the Newport News Police Department.

Police said there were no students hurt during the shooting and there is no longer an active shooter.

There are currently no updates on the adult’s condition, and the extent of their condition is unknown, authorities said.

We’re told officers and crews at the scene are working to reunite parents with their children.

Details are currently limited.

Stay with 10 News as this story develops

About the Authors:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.