“My client will appear in court this week,” Taylor’s lawyer told AFP.
A first-grader at Richneck Elementary School pulled out a handgun his mother had legally purchased on Jan. 6 and shot 25-year-old teacher Abigail Zwerner. This happened after school officials received a warning that the boy had a gun at the school. The young woman was treated in hospital for two weeks with injuries to her hand and chest.
The boy’s parents, in a statement issued after the shooting, assured that the gun was properly stored in a safe place and also said that the boy suffers from a disability that requires special care.
State Attorney Howard Gwynn said the investigation is not over and that a grand jury will review security measures at the school where the shooting occurred. If he finds others criminally responsible, more charges will be filed, said Gwynn, who last month recused himself from prosecuting the shooter because of his age.
Abigail Zwerner filed a civil lawsuit this month against school officials, who she accuses of underestimating warnings about the student’s aggressive behavior and ignoring warnings that the boy was armed. He is seeking compensation in the amount of 40 million dollars (about 860 million CZK).
In the United States, where nearly 400 million guns are owned, school shootings are alarmingly common. The latest tragedy took place at the end of March in Nashville, where three nine-year-old students and three adults were killed in a small Christian school. But it’s very rare for shooters to be as young as they are in Newport News. According to researcher David Riedman’s database, since the 1970s, “only” about fifteen children under the age of ten have shot up in schools, AFP noted.
Taylor’s indictment is the latest example of prosecution of parents of children involved in gun crimes or mass shootings, according to Reuters. Last month, a Michigan appeals court ruled in favor of prosecutors seeking to bring to trial the parents of Ethan Crumbley, who shot and killed four classmates at a high school in November 2021. An Illinois father was indicted in February on charges that he helped his son, then a minor, obtain the gun he used to kill seven people at a parade in the city of Highland Park, outside Chicago, on Independence Day last year.
US police have released the identity of the bank shooter, who broadcast the attack live on the Internet
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