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A teacher who was shot by a 6-year-old was praised for saving children.

A teacher who was shot by a 6-year-old was praised for saving children.

A Virginia teacher, 25, was hailed as a hero by police on Monday for removing pupils from her classroom despite being shot by a 6-year-old pupil. Following the shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, on Friday afternoon, police chief Steve Drew stated at a press conference that teacher Abigail Zwerner was in a stable condition on Monday.

According to Drew, a court had until Tuesday to decide whether to renew a temporary order holding the 6-year-old boy in custody. In the meantime, the boy was temporarily in care at a medical institution.

It was too soon to determine whether the boy’s parents might be charged with a crime for failing to secure the weapon, which the boy’s mother had bought legally, he said. The police chief called Zwerner “a hero.”

“She made sure that every one of those kids were out of that room, that she was the last one to leave. And she took it upon herself in that situation, after suffering a gunshot wound, to make sure that her students … were safe,” Drew said.

The boy had taken the 9 mm Taurus handgun from home, placed it in his backpack and removed it while Zwerner was teaching class, Drew said. He pointed and fired once. Zwerner, who took a defensive posture, was shot through the hand and into the chest.

After the shooting, a second school employee raced in to hold the boy down while Zwerner led the estimated 16 to 20 students out of the room, according to Drew. The gun was on the floor when cops arrived.

“I would prefer that we never had to ask. How does a 6-year-old possess gun skills? I’m not sure whether I could respond to your question adequately “said Drew. Teachers vowed to review security procedures while police and prosecutors continued their probe.

The only other instance of a child age 6 or younger using a firearm at a US school since 1970, according to Newport News Public Schools Superintendent George Parker, was when a 6-year-old brought a gun to school and fired it.

The deployment of metal detectors in high schools and active-shooter drills at all levels were the main security measures up until recently. Parker stated, “I hate to be in this position where I’m considering this. It might call for us to reevaluate metal detectors at all of our buildings.”