A Virginia teacher who was shot by a 6-year-old boy during an altercation in a first-grade classroom on Friday has been identified.
Abigail Zwerner, a 30-year-old teacher at Richneck Elementary School was rushed to Riverside Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
Her condition has improved and she is currently listed in stable condition, according to Newport News police.
Another student who witnessed the shooting said the boy shot the teacher “on purpose.” The boy is being held in a juvenile detention facility.
“We have been in contact with our commonwealth’s attorney (local prosecutor) to help us best get services to this young man,” Police Chief Steve Drew said, according to TIME.
Police are trying to determine where the child obtained the gun used in the shooting.
In a press conference on Friday, superintendent of Newport News Public Schools, Dr. George Parker said, “We need to keep guns out of the hands of our young people.”
Twitter users expressed outrage over the shooting incident in an elementary school. They called for increased security measures such as metal detectors at entrances of all elementary schools.
“How many shootings and incidents does it take to start using metal detectors at every school, every entrance, every day, 24/7 with no exceptions.” one person tweeted.
Another parent wrote, “What’s your plan to stop this drama? Put Metal Detectors in school!!!!”
“This is a red flag for the country,” Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones said on Saturday.
“I do think that after this event, there is going to be a nationwide discussion on how these sorts of things can be prevented,” he said.
Jones did not release additional details about the shooting.
Gun experts say the shooting is a very rare occurrence and that children with easy access to guns usually don’t shoot teachers.
“It’s very rare and it’s not something the legal system is really designed or positioned to deal with,” said researcher David Riedman.
Reidman is founder of a database that tracks U.S. school shootings dating back to 1970.
He said that he’s only aware of three other shootings caused by 6-year-old students since his research began.