Virginia teacher shot in classroom by pupil, 6, ‘showing signs of improvement’ in hospital

Ateacher who was shot by a six-year-old pupil in Virginia is “showing signs of improvement”, authorities have said.

Police were called to Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, on Friday after a classroom incident that left the teacher, Abby Zwerner, with “life-threatening” injuries.

The boy is said to have shot Ms Zwerner with a handgun. She is reported to have urged her pupils to run for safety.

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Phillip Jones, the mayor of the city of Newport News in Virginia, where the incident happened, described it as a “red flag for the country”.

He said the condition of the teacher at Richneck Elementary School is “trending in a positive direction” as she remains in hospital.

Police initially said the teacher’s injures were “life-threatening” but said a senior officer had met her on Saturday and “she has improved and is currently listed in stable condition”.

Steve Drew, chief of police in the city, said the boy had a gun in the classroom and the shooting was not an accident. Pupils were evacuated to the school’s gymnasium.

George Parker, the superintendent of the city’s public schools, made a plea for Americans to “keep guns out of the hands of our young people”. He said: “I cannot control access to weapons, my teachers cannot control access to weapons.

“Today our students got a lesson in gun violence and what guns can do to disrupt not only an educational environment, but also a family, a community.”

The shooting, the latest in a long list at US schools, is sure to reignite the debate about access to guns.

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Although Congress passed a bill in the summer that tightened restrictions on access to firearms for those considered a risk of being violent, there were 51 school shootings last year that resulted in injuries or deaths, according to the Education Week news organisation.






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