NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Right now the Commonwealth’s Attorney is reviewing the results of the Newport News Police Investigation into the shooting at Richneck Elementary School.

At stake is if anyone will face charges in connection to the shooting of teacher Abby Zwerner.

10 On Your Side spoke with former Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Bryant about what goes into reviewing a case like this.

He said, ultimately, the Commonwealth’s Attorney is going to determine if there’s sufficient evidence or not to charge a criminal case here that can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney is one of the most senior commonwealth’s attorneys in the state,” Bryant said. “He wants to do the right thing, as does every Commonwealth’s Attorney, and so he’s going to be thorough about it.”

Bryant said there’s likely a lot of evidence for Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn to review in this case.

He said it’s likely the police department has been consulting with Gwynn on things like search warrants, document seizures and who to interview.

“The next thing that’s going to happen is he’s going to go over this investigation very thoroughly,” Bryant said, “looking for anything that he would like to perhaps have re-done, followed up on, interviews that he would like to know if they did or didn’t do, what the forensic reports are, to the extent that matters in a case like this.”

Bryant said, ultimately, what the Commonwealth’s Attorney is going to be looking for is whether or not this evidence comes to a level to enable a conviction in a criminal case.

“Often times things happen where it may be totally negligent, someone may be at fault in a number of ways, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can prove a criminal case,” Bryant said. “It often happens that while Commonwealth’s Attorneys know that certain individuals caused something to happen … the facts they have don’t fit the law they have in order to charge a person.”

He says it’s highly unlikely that any commonwealths attorney is going to authorize a charge on a 6-year-old.

“It’s highly unlikely that any Commonwealth’s Attorney is going to authorize a charge on a 6-year-old in these circumstances because the law is pretty clear about a 6-year-old being capable of forming criminal intent,” Bryant said. “There are some other things that could be done, such as petitions for a child in need of services. Then the juvenile court would take over determining the custody and that sort of thing with the child that age.”

But they’ll likely be looking at how the child got access to the weapon.

“I find it interesting that no one has been charged yet,” Bryant said. “In other words, it hasn’t been so clear to the police that they could get a warrant to charge somebody in this case,” said Bryant. “They’re waiting until the Commonwealth’s Attorney makes a determination as to whether or not there’s a sufficient evidence to charge a criminal case here.”

Bryant said there’s a fairly limited number of criminal charges available in a case like this.

“Virginia provides that its a Class 1 misdemeanor to leave a loaded unsecure gun where a child can get that gun,” Bryant said. “There’s also a provision, a Class 1 misdemeanor again, about authorizing a child to have a gun under the age of 12 and then there’s always contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which is a pretty broad charge, also a misdemeanor that the Commonwealth’s Attorney will be looking to see if the evidence would be sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bryant said reviewing this evidence is likely going to take time, but he believes Gwynn will move as quickly and as thoroughly as he can.

“He’s going to spend a lot of time in the next few days on it, but we have to remember that for a city the size of Newport News,” Bryant said, “while this is important, this is not the only thing going on in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.”

He said the public just has to understand and trust that a Commonwealth’s Attorney of this particular background and experience is going to make the right decision based on the evidence that he has.

“I just hope the public understands when he announces his decision that there either was or wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Bryant said. “Because it’s a violation of our ethics as Commonwealth’s Attorneys to charge a case where we don’t have the evidence to prove it.”

Bryant said it’s likely Gwynn will advise the victim, the victim’s attorney and the chief investigator, among others before he announces his decision publicly.

10 On Your Side did reach out to Gwynn’s office to check on the status of the case. Our calls have not been returned.