Mom of six-year-old who shot teacher enters plea amid serious federal charges

Newport News, Virginia - The Virginia mom whose six-year-old child shot and severely wounded his teacher in January pleaded guilty Monday to illegally obtaining the firearm, federal prosecutors said.

Deja Taylor, who's six-year-old son shot his elementary school teacher with her gun, has pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining the firearm.
Deja Taylor, who's six-year-old son shot his elementary school teacher with her gun, has pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining the firearm.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Deja Taylor's son brought her gun to Richneck Elementary in the city of Newport News on January 6 and fired on his teacher in the attack.

The teacher was hospitalized for two weeks with injuries to her hand and chest.

Federal prosecutors said in a statement Monday that Taylor had pleaded guilty to "illegally obtaining and possessing a firearm and making a false statement" on a government agency form required to purchase the weapon, carrying a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison.

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Taylor had testified on a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) form that she did not consume illegal drugs, but searches at her home uncovered marijuana, which, though partially legalized in Virginia, remains illegal at the federal level.

Local prosecutors in April also brought charges at the state level against Taylor, charging her with felony child neglect and a misdemeanor.

Prosecutors say Taylor's gun was unsecured

Taylor has also been charged by federal prosecutors with lying on a goverment form.
Taylor has also been charged by federal prosecutors with lying on a goverment form.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Taylor has previously said that her son suffers from ADHD and that the gun had been "secured" at home.

But the federal prosecutors' statement on Monday said that during the searches of the two homes, a "lockbox was not found in either of the residences, nor was a trigger lock or key to a trigger lock ever found."

A "black firearm barrel lock" was found at Taylor's home.

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While accidents involving young children accessing unsecured firearms in their homes are common in the US, school shootings perpetrated by those under 10 years old are rare.

A database compiled by researcher David Riedman has only registered about 15 such incidents since the 1970s.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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