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Understanding a Six Year old school Shooter; it’s tough



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


Police are struggling to put together details after a six-year-old became the latest school shooter in the United States. The shocking incident happened in Virginia on Friday, January 6th,

where a teacher was injured when the child brought a gun into her classroom.

At first, only the barest information was shared with the public, only that there was an active shooter and one person had been injured and then this update from the Newport News Police Department via Twitter sent shockwaves across the country.

“The suspect has been identified as a 6-year-old male student. The student is in custody,” police said.

In a news conference after the fact, they also made it clear the young child’s actions were premeditated. “This occurred in a classroom, it was isolated. This was not a situation where we had a student going up and down the halls actively firing. The only thing I can tell you is that there was an altercation between the 6-year-old who had a firearm and the teacher and a round was fired- this was not an accidental shooting,”  NNPD Police Chief, Steve Drew revealed.

Local news agencies are reporting that the teacher is being lauded for still looking out for the safety of her students; even as she lay on the ground bleeding she instructed her other students to run to safety. Parents, teachers and the community at large were in a state of shock over the weekend as the details of the incident were revealed. Police say they are working to get the child help.

Questions regarding where a six-year-old, a child unlikely to be allowed to even cross the street on his own, got the gun. Any charges to be laid against the boy are still murky but his parents are under investigation. The shooting follows two mass shootings in the state in November alone.

That questions was answered a day later however, when the world learned the child used his mother’s firearm to shoot his teacher during lesson time.

It has been confirmed by police that the six year old who shot his teacher on Friday used his mother’s legal gun, a 9 millimeter Taurus firearm.

The young child somehow got access to the gun and placed it in his school bag.

New information has also been shared regarding the teacher.

Only 25-years-old Abigail Zwerner, a graduate of James Madison University, was in charge of teaching sweet-cheeked 5 and 6 year olds until last Friday when one of them shot her.

Newport News Police Department gave an update to the public on Monday via Facebook explaining that the shooting happened at the student’s desk.

“Ms. Zwerner was providing classroom instruction and the 6-year-old child displayed a firearm, pointed it at her and fired one round.”

Local news reports indicate that she tried to confiscate the gun and that was when she was shot. The bullet went through her hand and into her abdomen.

Police Chief Steve Drew again made it clear that based on Zwerner’s testimony the shooting was intentional not the cause of a struggle.

“There was no physical struggle or fight. She was providing instruction to the class. There was one round fired. Abigail took a defensive position where she raised her hand. The round went through her hand, exited the rear of her hand and went into her upper chest– she leaned back and took that round.” he reiterated during his speech “This shooting was not accidental.”

Police say she herded her students out of the classroom, making sure they were safe before leaving herself, still upright.

“Ms. Zwerner was the last person to leave that class. She made a right turn and started down the hallway and then she stopped and turned around to make sure that every one of her students was safe.” Drew explained.

The teacher then bleeding profusely from the chest walked to the administrative office where she was given first aid. Drew repeatedly referred to her as a hero, who when he visited with her repeatedly asked after her students and how they were doing.

Drew repeatedly described the situation as unprecedented and maintained they were calling in mental and behavioural experts to consult on the case. Based on those consultations the child was evaluated and is currently in state custody receiving treatment.

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Caribbean News

Tragic fire in Guyanese Dormitory, 19 lives lost



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



#Guyana, May 30, 2023 – Hearts are aching for the tragic loss of 19 children in a deadly school dormitory fire in Guyana, which a female student is suspected to have started after her cell phone was taken away by the dorm’s mother and a teacher according to a police statement.

The fire started while students were asleep;  several of them were woken up by screams, according to the police.

It destroyed the Mahdia Secondary School and the 19 lives lost include 18 girls and a young boy.

However, despite the fact that when the firefighters arrived the building was already engulfed in flames, they were able to rescue 20 students by breaking down part of the building’s north eastern wall.

During the fire, which started in the bathroom and then consumed the whole building, police say 57 female students were in the dormitory which they described as a flat concrete building measuring about 100 feet by 40 feet, with barred windows.

Also, the dorm is said to have been locked and had covered windows which would have trapped the students.

However, authorities have not revealed whether the students had difficulty evacuating the building; but it is reported that the dorm administrator – who is suffering the loss of her five year old son, couldn’t locate the keys to unlock the door due to panic.

Those injured as well as those who died, mostly indigenous girls, as the school housed children from indigenous communities from the wider area, were taken to the hospital, some of them still in serious condition.

The teenage suspect, is also currently hospitalized with burns, is accused of threatening her attack after she was confronted and disciplined for being in a relationship with an older man, as reported by the Associated Press, hence the possible reason her phone was taken.

Authorities are now taking advice on whether to charge her, according to a government source who spoke to the AFP news agency.

Local Guyanese media reports that the blaze, which firefighters took over three hours to contain, was so severe that DNA testing was needed to identify some of the victims.

Mohamed Ifran Ali, Guyana’s President has declared three days of national mourning in response to the tragedy that occurred on Sunday May 21st, 2023.

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Rape Trial adjourned to December



By Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter



#TurksandCaicos, May 30, 2023 – Appearing on Tuesday May 23, before her ladyship the Hon. Tanya Lobban-Jackson was the accused Denardo Ewing for the rape of a female tourist.

The allegation dates back to July 2021.  The alleged victim reported to police that she was ganged raped by males on the night in question in Providenciales.  Ewing was the lone suspect charged; there had been reports however that TCI Police did make more than one arrest in connection to the alleged sexual assault.

The matter was listed for mention last week as Ewing’s attorney has filed an application to exclude certain evidence. The application will be heard at a later date and the defendant remains on bail pending his trial in December of this year.

Denardo Ewing is represented by Sheena Mair of F-Chambers Law firm.

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Seven Year Old Corruption Case begins in October, says DPP



By Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter



#TurksandCaicos, May 30, 2023 – Arrested in October 2016, Vicki Wilson, formerly of the Providenciales Employment Service of the Immigration Department will still face trial for alleged acts of corruption in the work place.  Wilson on Tuesday May 23, 2023 appeared in court; represented by Mr. Oliver Smith, KC, who appeared by video link.

The Court learned that discussions had started between the office of the DPP and King’s Counsel Smith on behalf of the accused related to the matter being disposed of or dropped altogether.  However, those talks fell through and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has advised the matter proceed to trial.

In a 2017 report, TCI Police informed:  “Following a joint investigation between the RT&CIPF Financial Crimes Unit and the Integrity Commission, a 48 year old female of Providenciales was formally charged and caution for 13 counts of uttering forged document, one count of corruption and one count of use of criminal property.   The investigation commenced in November 2016 after number of allegations of Forged Turks and Caicos Islands Work Permits being issued to a number of persons within the Haitian and Dominican Communities.”

Alleged co-conspirator and co-accused Shadika Green was in 2019 found guilty of the charges by a jury.

A trial date for Vicki Wilson is now fixed for commencement on October 30, 2023. Her bail has been extended to that date.

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