A Newport News grand jury indicted on Monday the mother of a 6-year-old who shot and killed a Richneck Elementary school teacher in January, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Deja Taylor was charged with misdemeanor neglect of a child and recklessly leaving a firearm endangering a child.
The charges follow an investigation by the Newport News Police Department and the city’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. The office said it had “determined the facts and the law” to support both charges against Taylor.
“The facts of each criminal case are unique, and these faces support these charges, yet our investigation of the shooting continues,” U.S. Attorney Howard Gwin wrote.
Gwin also announced that he has petitioned the Newport News Circuit Court to appoint a special grand jury to continue investigating “security issues that may have led to the shooting.”
The investigation is said to continue until it becomes clear whether others involved will also be charged.
It comes after the Hampton Roads school stepped up safety measures and filed a $40 million lawsuit on behalf of injured teacher Abby Zwerner against several Newport News Public Schools administrators for alleged negligence.
“Multiple layers of failures in accountability resulted in Abby being shot and nearly killed,” said Zwerner’s attorney, Diane Toscano. month, but there are still many unanswered questions. Our lawsuit makes clear that we believe the school department violated state law and we are pursuing the matter in civil court. We will not allow school leaders to escape their role in this tragedy role responsibilities.”