Parents of 6-year-old school shooter might be charged for his crime

It’s unlikely that the 6-year-old boy who shot his Virginia teacher with a gun taken from home will be charged, but his parents could be criminally liable if they failed to properly secure the weapon.

Police say the student’s mother legally purchased the gun used in the shooting, but they haven’t explained how the boy obtained it or whether it was secured.

According to Allison Anderman, senior counsel and director of local policy at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Virginia doesn’t have a law that specifies how firearms should be secured in a home. Regardless, Anderman said the state has a misdemeanor law preventing children 14 and younger from having access to firearms.

Authorities say the boy, who isn’t publicly identified due to his age, shot first-grade teacher Abigail Zwerner while she was teaching a class of about 20 students at Richneck Elementary School.

A bullet passed through Zwerner’s hand and into her upper chest, but she survived and has been hailed as a hero. Despite being wounded, she was able to safely assist students out of the classroom, police chief Steve Drew said.

Drew said the boy shot Zwerner with a 9mm Taurus pistol he broughgt from home. For investigators, determining how or if the gun was secured inside the house will be a “key element.”

During a press conference on Monday, Drew reiterated that he believed the boy intentionally shot his teacher and that the gun had more than one round. He shared that, “this shooting was not accidental. It was intentional.”