Mother of six-year-old who shot teacher sentenced to two years


The mother of a six-year-old boy who shot one of his teachers in Virginia was sentenced to two years in prison Friday for child neglect, a year after the shooting.

The sentencing was the second punishment for Deja Taylor, who was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison last month for using marijuana while owning a gun, a separate case from the state neglect charge.

She pleaded guilty to the charge in August.

Her son told police that he climbed on top of a dresser to take the handgun out of Taylor’s purse. He then hid it in his backpack and shot one of his first grade teachers, Abby Zwerner.

Zwerner was injured in the shooting, suffering a punctured lung, but survived. She is still impacted by the shooting, struggling in everyday life after five surgeries, The Associated Press reported. 

In a “Good Morning America” appearance in May, Taylor said she felt responsibility for the shooting.

“That is my son, so I am, as a parent, obviously willing to take responsibility for him because he can’t take responsibility for himself,” she said.

Zwerner no longer teaches. She said she has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

“I contend daily with deep emotional scars,” she said.

Zwerner is suing the school district for $40 million over claims of negligence. Her attorneys claim the school district was warned about the child’s access to a gun at least three times.

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