According to a report, a 6-year-old who shot his teacher told another educator that he wanted to set her on fire and watch her die.
Last month, the troubled boy nearly made good on his apparent murderous impulses, shooting first grader teacher Abigail Zwerner at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News., Va., officials have said. Zwerner survived.
Zwerner and other Richneck teachers said they had shared their fears about the child’s grave behavior with administrators, only to have their concerns downplayed or ignored, The Washington Post reported.
Zwerner had asked for help with the boy and expressed concerns about his behavior, teachers wrote in online messages to Newport News Superintendent George Parker III.
“She had asked for help,” one school staff member wrote in the chat.
“Several times,” another added.
The child, who was known to throw furniture and other objects in the classroom, once wrote a note to a teacher telling her he hated her and wanted to set her on fire to kill her, according to the teachers union. According to the teacher, when she brought the disturbing letter to school administrators, they told her to throw it away.
The date of the threat is unknown, according to the outlet.
Another time, the student managed to prevent a teacher and other students from leaving their classroom by barricading the doors. They were only freed after the teacher banged on the door and a colleague across the hall managed to open it.
Zwerner, 25, was shot in the chest while teaching her first-grade class on Jan. 6. She sent her students out of the classroom before collapsing and being rushed to the hospital.
According to authorities, there was no warning or struggle before the boy aimed the 9mm Taurus handgun and opened fire on his teacher.
Parker revealed that at least one school official was notified that the boy may have brought a weapon to school hours before the shooting, but no weapon was found after searching his backpack.
The shooting is being investigated as “intentional,” Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said.
In their first public statement since the shooting, the child’s parents stated that the firearm was “secured” in their home.
They added that the boy “has an acute disability” and that his mother or father accompanied him to class every day, and that the week of the shooting “was the first week when we were not in class with him.”
“We will be sorry for missing this day for the rest of our lives,” they added.