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@twitch_cyberhex/TikTok @joss_maura/TikTok

‘I knew she was struggling with some of the kids’: Substitute says she taught in class where six-year-old shot teacher

A 6-year-old shot his teacher, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.


Jacob Seitz


Posted on Jan 9, 2023

People impacted by the school shooting in Newport News, Virginia are sharing on TikTok the story of what happened and how it felt.

TikToker Joss Maura, @joss_maura, said her son was on lockdown at Richneck Elementary School during the shooting.

“Just when I thought I was having a good day I received a text that my 9-year-old son was on lockdown at school with an active shooter who is only six years old,” the text on screen said, as Joss can be seen pouring a glass of wine.

According to the BBC, the shooting in Newport News happened on Friday shortly after 2pm. A six-year-old boy shot his teacher, who suffered life-threatening injuries but is in stable condition. The incident allegedly occurred after an altercation between the boy and his teacher, but it is unclear how the boy obtained the gun or why he brought it to school. 

A substitute teacher who subbed for Abby Zwerner, the teacher, said she knew the child who shot her.

“I subbed for her class this year, I taught her class, I taught the 6-year-old that shot her,” she said in a TikTok.


this isn’t a joke or to make light, this is coping with the fact that so many people were failed in a preventable accident, and wondering if i could have done more… #newportnews #schools #gunviolenceawareness

♬ july – speed songs <3

In a follow-up, the TikToker said she “knew [Zwerner] was struggling with some of the kids in there.”

Police have yet to release the name of the shooter, and Richneck Elementary is slated to remain closed until Friday

Commenters on the TikToks were sympathetic for both the substitute teacher and the parent.

“So scary and I’m so glad you’re all safe!” one commenter said.

“Hugs to you, prayers to Abby,” another wrote.

“You have done all you can I promise it’s just a heartbreaking reality that these events still happen when they’re preventable take care of yourself,” said another.

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*First Published: Jan 9, 2023, 3:08 pm CST