Student accused of threat at school where boy shot teacher

Posted at 6:42 PM, February 21, 2023 and last updated 6:10 PM, May 11, 2023

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — A fifth-grade student at the same Virginia elementary school where a first-grader shot his teacher last month told classmates in a text message that he would “pop some bullets” and tell someone to shoot up the class, a school official wrote in an email to parents.

A Newport News police officer directs traffic at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Va., on Monday Jan. 30, 2023. The Virginia elementary school where a 6-year-old boy shot his teacher has reopened with stepped-up security and a new administrator. (AP Photo/John C. Clark)

Karen Lynch, an administrator who is currently leading the Newport News school, wrote in the email that several fifth-grade students were texting each other on Saturday when one of them allegedly made the threat. Another student told their parent, who contacted the teacher of the student who made the threat, Lynch wrote. The teacher then notified administrators.

“I immediately contacted the student’s parent and excluded the student from school,” Lynch wrote.

Lynch said police are investigating and a threat assessment is in progress.

“Please rest assured that all protocols are being followed and this incident is being addressed accordingly,” Lynch wrote.

On Jan. 6, a 6-year-old student at Richneck brought a loaded 9mm handgun to school and shot his teacher Abby Zwerner, seriously wounding her.

Diane Toscano, an attorney for Zwerner, notified school officials last month that Zwerner intends to sue the school district. Toscano said school administrators ignored warnings from several teachers in the hours before the shooting that the boy had a gun and was threatening other students. Zwerner is recovering at home.