The Virginia teacher critically wounded by an armed 6-year-old student gasped, “I’m shot’’ and pleaded with those around her to get help before falling unconscious, according to a witness.

“I’m shot, I’m shot, call 911,’’ urged ailing 25-year-old instructor, Abby Zwerner, according to Lawanda Rusk, who was at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News when the chilling incident occurred Friday afternoon.

Rusk told local WHSV-TV she was at the school to pick up her two little grandsons just moments before the shooting and soon found herself next to a school receptionist tending to the critically wounded Zwerner.

“We only thought it was somewhere on her hand maybe,’’ Rusk said of the teacher’s injuries. “But after looking further, she passed out on the floor, and … we noticed that there was another gunshot wound.

Abby Zwerner
The teacher, Abby Zwerner, was gravely injured after being shot by her student on Friday.
Richneck schools
The school will remain closed through Friday to allow students and their families time to process Friday’s events.

“I did help put pressure on the wounds,’’ said Rusk of Zwerner’s injuries, which involved bullets to one of the teacher’s upper shoulders and hands.

Rusk said she and the office worker tended to Zwerner while school administrators rushed to keep the other kids safe.

“Myself and the receptionist stayed pretty much mostly to her side because we know that the administrators had to do what they needed to do to make sure all of the children were safe,’’ Rusk said.

“I didn’t know what to do. It was just instinct,” she added.

 Messages of support for teacher Abby Zwerner
The school provided an update on its website Monday while announcing the classes would be canceled for the rest of the week.

The granny spoke to the outlet at a local Stop the Violence Rally on Sunday.

Zwerner’s condition has been upgraded from critical to serious but stable, and she is talking with family and friends, the school said on its Web site Monday.

Richneck Elementary School in Newport News will remain closed through Jan. 13, the school announced after authorities shared the altercation between the teacher and the student who had the firearm was “not an accidental shooting.”

Richneck elementary
Authorities have not identified the student who brought the gun, or shared how they got ahold of the weapon.

A single round was fired and no other students were involved, Police Chief Steve Drew said. The 6-year-old was brought into custody Friday. Zwerner was shot as she went to grab the weapon, the mom of another student told the Washington Post.

It also isn’t known where the kid obtained the weapon.


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