Community in shock as 'teacher of the year' shot dead in her back garden


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A primary school teacher was found dead in her garden after being shot multiple times in what police suspect is a domestic incident.

Wendy Duan, who won a “teacher of the year” prize in 2021, suffered “multiple gunshot wounds” and was pronounced dead at the scene on Saturday, officers said.

Investigators are searching for an unnamed male suspect, however he was not in custody as of Monday morning.

The shooting took place just before 10pm in a suburb of Houston, Texas, with a neighbour describing how he heard what sounded like four gunshots.

The neighbour, Tony Thomas, told local outlet KTRK: “Out of nowhere, just four very distinct gunshots is what I heard, and it was quite scary at the moment, so I dropped everything I was doing, came outside.”

Police were dispatched to the scene after reports of multiple shots fired. When they arrived they found Ms Duan, who had suffered gunshot wounds, dead in her garden.

Authorities said they believed the incident on January 7 was related to a domestic.

Alief Independent School District confirmed that Ms Duan had worked as an assistant primary school teacher since 2017.

In a December 2021 Facebook post, Ms Duan said she had been named English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher of the Year.

“I still can’t believe that I won ESL teacher of the year lol [sic]. The whole time I kept telling people that there’s no way that I would win, especially going against other teachers who have been teaching way longer than I have,” Ms Duan wrote.

She added: “Thanks to the people who believed in me and voted for me!”

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A statement from her school said: “We are deeply saddened to learn about the tragic passing of Alief ISD employee Wendy Duan.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”

The shooting comes just three days after a teacher at Rickneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, was shot by a six-year-old student.

Abby Zwerner, 25, was trying to confiscate the gun when she was shot, according to the parent of another child in the class. She suffered life threatening injuries but her condition is reportedly improving in hospital.



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