6-year-old says he wanted to set teacher on fire before shooting: Report

  • The 6-year-old who shot his teacher reportedly told her he wanted to set her on fire and watch her die.
  • The Washington Post obtained texts from school officials that reveal troubling details about the boy’s behavior.
  • School officials said in reports that the teacher raised concerns about the boy, but they were ignored.

Virginia school officials allegedly downplayed concerns about the six-year-old boy who shot a teacher, including saying he wanted to set her on fire and watch her die. The Washington Post reported.

Police said the child ended up shooting teacher Abigail Zwerner earlier this month while she was teaching her first grade class at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News.

Authorities said the shooting was “intentional” and “not accidental,” but did not provide further information.

The Post obtained a message written by a Richneck teacher through the local teachers union that revealed troubling details about the boy’s alleged behavior.

The account claims the boy wrote a note to Zwerner saying he hated her and wanted to set her on fire and watch her die. When she reported the note to Richneck administrators, Zwerner was told to drop the matter, the account claims.

On one occasion, the boy was throwing furniture and other objects in the classroom, causing the other children to hide under their desks, according to the account.

The story also claims that in another incident, the boy barricaded the doors of a classroom and prevented a teacher and students from leaving.

The boy’s family said he had “acute injury” and that one of his parents often went to class with him but did not during the week of the shooting.

The teacher also alleged in his narrative that the boy was not receiving the educational services he needed at the school.

The teacher declined to speak directly to the Post or publicly identify himself for fear of retaliation.

The publication also obtained text messages between school officials and Newport News Superintendent George Parker III after the shooting that said Zwerner asked for help to deal with the young student.

“She had asked for help,” one official wrote of Zwerner, and another school official agreed that she had done so “several times.”

Other school officials responded, saying she had asked for help “two hours before” as well as “all year.”

The messages did not provide any additional details about Zwerner’s requests for assistance.

Other details have emerged since the shooting that suggest school officials may have failed to respond to concerns about the boy.

Superintendent Parker said hours before the boy shot the teacher, a school administrator was notified the child may have brought a gun to school. He said school workers searched the boy’s backpack but did not find the 9mm semi-automatic handgun legally owned by his mother.

After the shooting, Zwerner was taken to the hospital, where her condition went from life-threatening to stable, according to The Washington Post. The bullet reportedly went through Zwerner’s arm and into her upper chest.

Richneck Elementary School did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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