Virginia Mom Of 6-Year-Old Who Shot Teacher Pleads Guilty To Child Neglect

NEWPORT NEWS, VA - JANUARY 07: A school sign wishing students a "Happy New Year" is seen outside Richneck Elementary School on January 7, 2023 in Newport News, Virginia. A 6-year-old student was taken into custody after reportedly shooting a teacher during an altercation in a classroom at Richneck Elementary School on Friday. The teacher, a woman in her 30s, suffered “life-threatening” injuries and remains in critical condition, according to police reports. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
A school sign wishing students a “Happy New Year” is seen outside Richneck Elementary School on January 7, 2023 in Newport News, Virginia. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
1:55 PM – Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The mother of a 6-year-old student who police claim intentionally shot his teacher, pleaded guilty in a Virginia court on Tuesday. 


26-year-old Deja Taylor was charged with felony child neglect. 

Prosecutors have agreed to drop a misdemeanor charge of reckless storage of a firearm against Deja Taylor. As a result of the plea agreement, prosecutors stated that they will not seek further sentencing and Taylor will serve up to six months in a state prison or jail. 

However, a judge could decide to impose longer sentencing of up to five years in prison, during a sentencing hearing scheduled for October 27th

On January 6th, Taylor’s son had reportedly used her firearm to shoot his teacher, Abigail Zwerner, at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. During the incident, Zwerner was severely injured but still luckily survived. 

She filed a $40 million dollar lawsuit against the school, accusing the institution of negligence and a lack of response to multiple warnings that the child brought a gun to school that day. 

Authorities reported that the young student had hidden the weapon in his backpack.

Shortly after the shooting, the child told a reading specialist, “I shot that b**** dead,” and “I got my mom’s gun last night.”

Newport News Public Schools responded that they are unable to comment on the pending case, but that they are prepared to assist authorities and that the district “remains committed to ensuring the well-being and care of all students and staff.” 

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