NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – A former Richneck Elementary School administrator is asking a judge to pause evidence collection in a $40 million lawsuit filed against her and others.

Dr. Ebony Parker was the assistant principal at Richneck on Jan. 6. The same day a teacher named Abby Zwerner was shot by her 6-year-old student in her first grade classroom. Zwerner, who survived the shooting, was shot through the hand and chest by the same bullet.

Zwerner filed a lawsuit against Parker, the Newport News School Board, and other administrators claiming they failed to protect her from the troubled student. Specifically, the lawsuit claims Parker was warned several times that the student may have had a gun, but failed to act.

Parker’s attorneys filed a motion on Wednesday to stay discovery – or hold off on the parties in the lawsuit collecting evidence – because a special grand jury is investigating the actions of certain employees on the day of the shooting. The motion states that if Parker responds to discovery in the civil case, she may provide the grand jury with evidence to use against her in the criminal investigation.

The motion asks the judge to stay discovery until the criminal investigation is finished, or for six months. A judge has not yet made a decision on the motion.

The boy told police he used his mother’s gun to shoot Zwerner. The mother’s name is Deja Taylor, and she’s pleaded guilty to state and federal crimes as a result of the shooting. She’s scheduled for sentencing in both cases in October.

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