BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — One student was stabbed outside of Riverside High School on Wednesday afternoon and a 19-year-old man was arrested, according to Buffalo Police.
Police say the call came around 2:45 p.m., where the incident occurred outside of the school. Makai Cook of Buffalo allegedly slashed the victim with a box cutter and then fled after the attack before being arrested nearby a short time later, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.
The victim, an 18-year-old male student, was transported to ECMC by ambulance for treatment of apparent non-life-threatening injuries and has since been released.
Cook, who was not a student at the school, was charged with one count of assault in the second degree, one count of menacing in the second degree, one count of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of trespassing.
If convicted of the highest charge, Cook faces a maximum of seven years in prison. He is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 10.
The district said that as a precaution, Wednesday night’s soccer game at Riverside was postponed.
According to a city spokesperson, police are questioning a “number of individuals” in connection to the incident.
The stabbing happened just 10 minutes after the final bell rung on Wednesday. One teacher at the high school told News 4 there have been several violent incidents over the last week. Teachers at Riverside High School say the school environment is not safe.
“Riverside High School is currently not safe nor conducive to learning,” Marc Bruno, Riverside history teacher, said. “I’m just horrified that a student went through that in a place where you should feel safe and secure.”
Bruno has been a teacher at Riverside for more than two decades and is the union delegate for the building. He says he’s filed union grievances with the district to try and make the building and school environment safer, but not enough has been done. He added three fights happened just last Friday, putting students and teachers in danger.
“One was between two female students, recorded on camera. One was in the gym where a student was severely injured. Another one was in a classroom and there were chairs being thrown everywhere and a teacher got hit by a chair,” Bruno said. “I’ve broken up hundreds of fights. Literally, I’ve been punched, kicked, thrown, blood on my shirt. I’ve noticed we’re desensitized to it.”
He also said students with disciplinary records from other high schools, like McKinley, were transferred to Riverside, which frustrated the faculty and staff.
“You didn’t turn around anything. You sent the problem from there to here and we have enough problems to deal with,” Bruno explained. “We’re trying so hard there and our students deserve an environment that’s safe and conducive to learning just like all school environments.”
The district said in a statement shortly following that the suspected weapon did not enter the school.
“Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams has directed Crisis Prevention and Response Staff to be onsite at Riverside High School to provide support to students and staff. As this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we cannot comment further at this time,” the district said as part of a statement Wednesday.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.