Mom of 6-year-old arrested for shooting dead Virginia schoolteacher


Deja Taylor, the mother of the six-year-old boy who shot his elementary school teacher in Virginia, was arrested Thursday on child neglect and gun charges after she surrendered to police.

The Newport News Police Department released a booking photo of Taylor, 25, who was officially charged with child neglect and a misdemeanor for recklessly leaving a loaded firearm to endanger a child.

Taylor was subsequently released from prison after posting $5,000 bail. She was due to return for a court status hearing on Friday.

“She’s nervous and scared because she’s never been charged, but she’s holding up well,” her attorney James Ellenson told the Associated Press.

Taylor’s arrest comes more than three months after police said her six-year-old son shot and wounded his elementary school teacher, Abby Zwerner, as she sat in her classroom at Richneck Elementary School on January 6.

Police said the child shooter used his mother’s legally-obtained gun.

Ellenson has previously said that Taylor’s gun was secured on a top shelf in her closet and had a trigger lock.

Virginia’s mother Deja Taylor, 25, is seen in her mugshot after being charged with child neglect and recklessly leaving a loaded firearm to endanger a child.
Newport News Police Department

Zwerner, 25, has recovered from her injuries but filed a $40 million lawsuit against the school system last week, accusing school officials of gross negligence and ignoring multiple warnings from teachers and others that Taylor’s son at brought her gun to school that day.

City prosecutors have ruled out charges against Taylor’s son — but said Tuesday they are investigating whether the “acts or omissions” by school officials in the case could lead to charges.

Police Chief Steve Drew has repeatedly described the shooting as “premeditated”. He said there was no warning and no fight before the kid pointed the gun at Zwerner and fired a round, hitting her in the hand and chest.

Abigail Zwerner, first grade teacher at Richneck Elementary School.
Abby Zwerner, 25, was shot and wounded while sitting in her classroom at Richneck Elementary School on January 6.

Zwerner pushed her students out of the classroom before she was taken to the hospital, where she stayed for nearly two weeks.

The child shooter’s family said he has an “acute disability” and is subject to a care plan that requires his mother or father to accompany him to class each day. The week of filming was the first that a parent was not in class with him.

With mail wires

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