Speed Reads

Charges Coming?

Mother of 6-year-old suspect who shot his teacher could face charges, police say

The mother of a 6-year-old boy who allegedly shot his teacher at a Newport News, Virginia, elementary school could be facing criminal charges, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said Tuesday. 

"I think that is certainly a possibility," Drew told CNN This Morning"We need to check with the school system on any behavioral issues they might have and put those together. ... At the end of the day, when that's all compiled together and the facts and what the law supports, the Commonwealth's attorney will make the decision if there are any charges [for the mother]."

Newport News made national headlines last week when police say the unidentified boy at Richnick Elementary School shot his teacher, 25-year-old Abigail Zwerner, who remains in the hospital in stable condition. According to Newport News police, the weapon, a 9mm handgun, had been legally purchased by the boy's mother, and the boy brought it to school from home. The shooting was not deemed accidental, and authorities are working to discover the suspect's motive. 

Andrew Block, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, told CNN it was "incredibly unlikely" that the boy himself would be prosecuted. "It's virtually impossible to imagine that a 6-year-old would meet either of the criteria necessary to find competency," Block added. 

In terms of the boy's mother, Block said that "it's hard to know if there's criminal liability or not, and who should have it" without the full context of the shooting.