A 6-year-old who shot his teacher allegedly told another educator he wanted to light her on fire and watch her die, according to a report.
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 support 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 in which he told her hated her, wanted to set her on fire to kill her, the teachers union told The Washington Post. When she brought the disturbing letter to school administrators, they told her to drop it, according to the teacher.
It’s unclear when the threat was made, the outlet noted.
Another time, the student managed to block 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 get it open.
Zwerner, 25, was shot in the chest Jan. 6 while teaching her first-grade class. She sent her students out of the classroom before collapsing and being rushed to the hospital.
Authorities said that there was no warning or struggle before the boy aimed the 9mm Taurus handgun and opened fire at his teacher.
Parker revealed that at least one school official had been alerted the boy may have brought a weapon to school hours before the shooting, but none was found after searching his backpack.
The shooting is being investigated as “intentional,” Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew has said.
The child’s parents said Thursday in their first public statement since the shooting that the firearm had been “secured” in their home.
The boy “suffers from an acute disability” and his mother or father accompanied him to class every day, they added, revealing the week of the shooting “was the first week when we were not in class with him.”
“We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives,” the added.