“I shot that bitch dead! I got my mom’s gun last night.”
Those chilling words came from the shooter of 25-year-old Abby Zwerner, a schoolteacher in Virginia, after he was finally under restraint. While this was not the first incident involving this student, who had a documented history of abusing others at his school, this was the deadliest and most extreme. This student, who during prior incidents including choking another teacher and whipping other students with his belt- was only six years old.
According to Heavy.com:
“At a January 9th, 2023, press conference [the police chief stated] that the call came at 1:59 p.m., advising that a teacher was shot. At 2 p.m., officers were dispatched, he said, adding that, at 2:04 p.m., two sheriff’s deputies entered the classroom where the shooting took place.
They found a 6-year-old child who was being physically restrained by a school employee, and he struck the employee and was “combative,” Drew said in the news conference. He was placed in a police car, according to the chief, who said that there was a “systematic evacuation” of rooms.
At 2:06 p.m., medics arrived at the school, Drew said, adding that they made contact with the teacher and took her to the local hospital.” Other reports reveal even more details of how the incident unfolded involving the six-year-old just back from a two-day suspension after slamming Zwerner’s cell phone to the ground in frustration after not getting the attention he wanted. Upon returning from recess, the child pulled the gun that he had held in his backpack from his pocket, aiming it at his shocked and unsuspecting teacher.
According to the ABC News story, Deja Taylor (the six-year-old’s mother) states that on the morning of the shooting, the firearm was stored in her purse with the trigger lock in place, and that she keeps the key for the lock under her mattress. However, Taylor plead guilty in June of possessing the same using the same gun while using marijuana.
The Plot Thickens
While the story is both disturbing and disconcerting with those details intact, the road takes a much more sinister turn when we consider the 1st grader’s state of mind. The BBC also reports that staff was warned that the child possibly had a gun as well as a student who was shown the weapon that day:
“After the shooting, Ms Zwerner told police at hospital that she saw the child standing by his desk when he “pulled a firearm out of his jacket pocket and pointed it” at her, according to the newly released documents.
Before he shot the 9mm handgun, she said, “What are you doing with that?”
The primary teacher has undergone surgery four times.
Amy Korvac, a reading specialist at the school, heard the gun shots and restrained the student until police arrived. It was during this time that the boy allegedly confessed to the shooting, using a profanity to refer to Ms Zwerner.
In an interview with the Washington Post published on Wednesday, Ms Korvac said she went inside the classroom after the shooting, where she found the six-year-old standing next to his desk with his arms crossed and a handgun on the floor next to him.
She said she then took the boy’s hand and walked him to the front of the classroom, where she used a phone to call 911.
“While I was holding him, he told me he had gotten his mom’s gun the night before and put it in his backpack,” Ms Kovac told the paper. “He also told me he only had time to load one bullet.” This story with that last statement(only recorded in the BBC, by the way) is more concerning than everything we’ve heard thus far.”
This was NO Accident!
Though police have determined that this was an intentional, rather than accidental shooting, which is terrible- that’s only one aspect. The other is that the 6-year-old admits with that confession that he not only meant to shoot her- but that he also meant to kill her and was confident he had possibly done so.
There are an unlimited number of stories related to this incident, referencing everything from the shooting itself and Zwerner’s $40 million lawsuit, to Deja Taylor’s explanation to impute her role in the gun’s access for her child. Yet, there is literally no attention given to what was clearly taught in Taylor’s own home, aka the parenting.
It is nothing new for a child to get angry with a teacher, which in most situations results in the child in question mumbling his anger or drawing pictures depicting it- that’s not what we’re talking about. The 3,000-lb elephant at issue in this room is clearly the continual hatred being cultivated, trained and taught in this child’s very-short life that finally came to fruition.
Why aren’t we addressing this? Why aren’t we zeroing in on what actually leads to these incidents? This is not the culmination of a troubled child with mental problems, and one need not be a mental care professional to know that. Rather, we are looking at one of many examples of how racist beliefs and mentalities are implemented and groomed in homes in many Black communities, some of which I’ve personally witnessed. Unfortunately, and tragically, this is not the first time this happened. Worse yet, it could have been easily prevented- had we taken to heart the message sent more than 20-years-ago- stay tuned.