Teacher Shot by 6-Year-Old Student Speaks Out in First Interview


A teacher based in Virginia opened up about being shot by her first-grade student.

In an interview with the “Today” show which aired on March 21, Abigail Zwerner, 25, spoke about how she’s been doing since the terrifying incident that occurred in her classroom at Richneck Elementary School.

“I’ve been doing OK. I’ve gone through a lot of obstacles and challenges. Some days are not-so-good days, where I can’t get up out of bed,” she said.

Continuing, she said, “Some days are better than others, where I’m able to get out of bed and make it to my appointments.”

However, despite the trauma she endured, Zwerner said she tries “to stay positive” and tries “to have a positive outlook on what’s happened” and where her “future’s heading.”

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She also revealed what kind of injuries she sustained as a result of the shooting.

“The initial gunshot went through my left hand and ruptured the middle bone as well as the index finger and the thumb,” Zwerner explained as she held up her bandaged hand.

She further explained that the gunshot also went into her upper chest where “bullet fragments” still remain.

Zwerner recalled what she was thinking after she had been shot in what she described as “a pretty scary day.”

“I was terrified,” she said. “In that moment, my initial reaction was ‘your kids need to get out of here. This is not a safe classroom anymore and then you need to find help for yourself.'”

She shared knowing she had been shot was “pretty shocking itself.”

“But I just wanted to get my babies out of there,” Zwerner added.

After she was rushed to the hospital, Zwerner said that due to the extent of her injuries, doctors believe “it could have been fatal” but the bullet going into her hand first is what “most likely” saved her life.

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Zwerner still has emotional scars from that life-changing day and revealed she’s “not sure when the shock will ever go away because of just how surreal it was.” She stated she has vivid memories of that day. She thinks about it “daily.”

“Sometimes, I have nightmares,” she added.

On Jan. 6, the 6-year-old boy allegedly pointed a handgun at Zwerner and fired one round, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said in a press conference.

“We have been in contact with our commonwealth attorney and some other entities to help us best get services to this young man,” he told the media.

Drew later said that the shooting was not “accidental.”

“We’ll get the investigation done, there’s questions we’ll want to ask and find out about,” he explained. “I want to know where that firearm came from, what was the situation.”

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