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U.S. School Shooting: Authorities warned pupil had gun but ignored, lawyer alleges

A victim was ready to sue the school for acting carelessly in managing the situation which could have been prevented.

• January 25, 2023
Richneck Elementary School
Richneck Elementary School

Fresh details have emerged in the wake of an ongoing investigation of a shooting where a six-year-old pupil who had taken his mother’s gun to school, shot his teacher in the chest.

Diane Toscano, lawyer to Abigail Zwerner – the injured teacher – asserted the Richneck Elementary School authorities had been warned on three separate occasions that the boy was in possession of a gun but did not act accordingly.

Ms Toscano said her client, scheduled for surgeries in the weeks ahead, was ready to sue the school for acting carelessly in managing the situation which could have been prevented.

She explained that the teacher had searched the pupil’s school bag the morning of the incident, believing he might have a gun but found no weapon.

Ms Zwerner around 12:30 p.m. the same day notified the management of her suspicion that the pupil might be hiding the gun in his pocket when he went for recess.

The school administrator, however, dismissed her worries saying the pupil’s pocket was too “little” to hold a gun.

Around 1:00 p.m., a pupil had tearfully complained to another teacher that the six-year-old pupil showed him the gun and threatened to shoot him if the pupil reported him to anyone.

“What did administrators do?” Ms Toscano queried at a press conference on Wednesday. “Did administrators call the police? No. Did administrators lock down the school? No. Did administrators evacuate the building? No. Did they confront the student? No.”

By 1:00 p.m., a third staff member sought permission to search the boy but was asked to wait, since it was near closing time.

An hour later, the pupil had fired the bullet into his teacher’s chest. Ms Toscano said the bullet had yet to be dislodged from her client’s chest whose road to recovery consists of several surgeries and physical therapy appointments.

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