BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A 17-year-old Buffalo Public Schools student pleaded guilty to charges that he carried a loaded handgun in his backpack inside Academy School #131 in April, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
The teenage male pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon on Sept. 29. The DA’s Office did not name the 17-year-old because of his adolescent offender status.
According to the DA’s office, a school security officer found an illegal, disassembled handgun considered a “ghost gun” while searching his backpack after the teen walked through the school’s weapon detection system.
The term “ghost gun” refers to weapons that are privately assembled, typically from kits purchased online and often consisting of 3D printed parts.
“While I am thankful that no one was injured during this incident, this teenager is accused of committing one of the most concerning and serious offenses — bringing a loaded handgun into school,” District Attorney John Flynn said. “Anyone who commits or threatens to commit a crime at any school in Erie County will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The DA’s office said after the gun was confiscated, the student fled, causing the school to briefly enter a lockdown and notify police.
According to the DA, the teen also pled guilty to attempted assault for a June incident while he was incarcerated at the Erie County Youth Services Center. The 17-year-old “hit and kicked another incarcerated individual,” the DA said, causing facial injuries to the individual that hospitalized the individual.
The 17-year-old is being held without bail until he is set to be sentenced in both cases on Nov. 13.
Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.