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

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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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Crime

Five Cays Shooting Death

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

June 22nd, 2024.

Homicide detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are actively investigating a murder in Five Cays, Providenciales.

Initial reports indicate that shortly after midday, the Police Control Room received several calls stating that gunshots were being heard in the area of the Community Center.

RT&CIPF officers responded to the given location and found the lifeless body of a male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds about the body.

The RT&CIPF is asking anyone with information that may help in this investigation to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app to share information.

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Crime

Assistance Needed in Identifying Murder Victim

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

June 16th, 2024.

The Serious Crimes Unit of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police yesterday (June 15th)  evening responded to a report of a shooting death.

Upon arrival at a location along Five Cays and South Dock Road, Providenciales, officers observed the body of a male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

The victim is approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall. He was found wearing red shorts, blue underpants, and a pair of black and white slippers and was shirtless. The individual had a dreadlocks hairstyle.

There were tattoos on both his arms and a cross under both eyes.

The estimated age of the victim is between 25 to 40 years old.

We are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying this individual.

Anyone with information that may help in this investigation is urged to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information on this murder anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app to share information anonymously.

 

Murder scene photo by Wilkie Arthur, Eagle Legal News Media

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Crime

Male Charged With Murder

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#TurksandCaicos, June 7, 2024 – A 29-year-old male has been charged with the murder of BUTLER BRAVE PROPHETE. KERLY AGENOR, of Dock Yard, Providenciales, was charged today (June 06th) following advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In addition to the murder, the accused faces the following charges:

  • Possession of a Firearm
  • Possession of Ammunition
  • Discharge of a Firearm
  • Discharge of Ammunition

The charges against Mr. AGENOR state that on March 05th, 2024, in Providenciales, he murdered Mr. PROPHETE, Contrary to Section 3 of the Offenses Against the Person Ordinance Chapter 3.08.

At the time of his death, Mr. Prophete, 22, of Wheeland, Providenciales, was exiting his workplace on the Lower Bight and was shot dead.

Mr AGENOR remains in custody pending a Sufficiency Hearing.

In a brief statement, Superintendent in charge of Crime, Safeguarding, Public Protection, and Intelligence Dean Holden said: “I wish to thank the officers of the Serious Crime Unit for their dedication and commitment in bringing this case to a charge. Further, I wish to reassure the public and families that the RTCIPF is committed to bringing prosecutions against perpetrators and, when possible, closure to persons who have lost loved ones to these senseless homicides”.

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