The second grader who was found with a .22-caliber handgun in his backpack at a Queens elementary school yesterday also had a flare gun. According to police, the 7-year-old boy was dropped off at Wave Preparatory Elementary School in Far Rockaway, but his mother ran back to sign him out under the guise of a dentist appointment after she realized the weapon was gone. According to the New York Post, when Deborah Farley asked her son about the gun, he said he’d given it to another boy and she was forced to tell the principal.
The handgun, along with a ten-round magazine and at least seven extra bullets in a plastic bag, were found in the backpack of Farley’s son, while the flare gun was discovered with a classmate. “The question of whether the child saw [the weapon] and put it in his backpack, or an older brother hid it there, is still under investigation,” the NYPD said. In the meantime, the mother has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon, and endangering the welfare of a child.
The boy has two older half-brothers in their twenties, one of whom was once the victim of a shooting, the Post reports.
“I thought we were going to get killed,” a fifth grader told the New York Times. “We went to the back of the classroom. I hid with my friend behind some computers.” Another child told the Post, “I was crying. I was scared. I was hiding under the table for so long I couldn’t feel my legs.”
When parents came to get their kids, they received a note reading, “Due to an incident today there was need to secure all students in their classrooms. This procedure is called a lockdown. Our school-based support team is prepared to assist you with any emotional needs as a result of today’s lockdown.” It did not say the word gun, but every local media outlet definitely did.