The mother of the 6-year-old boy who shot his teacher after bringing a gun to his Virginia elementary school will be indicted on multiple charges, including felony child neglect and a misdemeanor of child endangerment by recklessly leaving a loaded firearm.
On April 10, the state prosecutor detailed the charges against Deja Taylor. A grand jury indicted Deja Taylor on felony child neglect and “recklessly leaving a loaded firearm so as to endanger a child,” which is a misdemeanor. The two indictments stemmed from the January shooting of Abby Zwerner. Deja’s 6-year-old son was accused of shooting the woman at Richneck Elementary School, but prosecutors declined to file charges.
The gun reportedly belonged to the mother.
Regarding the indictments against the woman, Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Howard Gwynn said, “Every criminal case is unique in its facts, and these facts support these charges, but our investigation into the shooting continues.”
Zwerner was shot in her hands and chest. The 25-year-old teacher is still recovering from her injuries.
In a statement issued on January 20, Deja’s family shared a brief explanation of the child’s circumstances and expressed their remorse for the entire ordeal.
“Our son suffers from an acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day. We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.”
Zwerner has since filed a $40 million lawsuit against the school administration for their inaction in preventing the tragedy, referencing the child’s history of violence in the classroom and warnings that the 6-year-old boy was in possession of a firearm by students and faculty.
The backlash from the tragic shooting has rocked the local school system in Newport News, leading to the ousting of Superintendent George Parker III and Ebony Parker, the latter being a defendant in the lawsuit for allegedly not allowing faculty to search the student’s backpack for the weapon.
The family has remained relatively mum on details but continues to extend prayers toward Zwerner’s improved health, per their lawyer’s response to the lawsuit.
“We, of course, continue to pray for Ms. Zwerner’s complete recovery. In that there is still the potential for criminal charges, there is no further comment.”
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