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Virginia school shooting: Teacher a hero who saved her students' lives after being shot, police say

The first-grade teacher who was shot last week by a 6-year-old boy in Virginia made sure that all her students were safe and out of the classroom, police said Monday.

The 6-year-old boy who shot his teacher last week in the middle of a lesson at a Virginia elementary school brought a gun from home that was legally purchased by his mother, Newport News police Chief Steve Drew said at a news conference on Monday. 

The first-grade teacher, 25-year-old Abby Zwerner, was struck in the hand and upper chest but still ushered 17 to 20 other students out of the classroom. 

"Ms. Zwerner was the last person to leave that class. She made a right turn and started down the hallway, and then she stopped. She turned around to make sure that every one of those students was safe," Drew said Monday. 

No altercation took place before the shooting, Drew said, noting that the boy raised the gun and fired once at Zwerner, who took a defensive position. 


Another school employee rushed into the classroom and restrained the boy, who became combative, according to Drew. 

Zwerner's injuries were initially considered life-threatening, but she is now in stable condition and still being treated at a hospital. 

Police officers escorted the boy out of the classroom and confiscated the firearm, a 9-millimeter Taurus handgun. His mother has been interviewed by law enforcement. 

Drew said that once investigators confer with the commonwealth attorney's office about their investigation, charges could be filed against the mother. 

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