Police charge 14-year-old boy in connection to Thursday’s lockdown of Science Magnet School


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo police tell News 4 they charged a 14-year-old boy with unlawful possession of a weapon for a person under 16 in connection with Thursday’s incident.

The Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School (P.S. 59) and the neighboring Buffalo Museum of Science were placed on lockdown Thursday afternoon after a student reported seeing a classmate with what appeared to be a handgun.

Buffalo police initiated and a room-by-room search and eventually found the weapon in a classroom, which was determined to be a BB gun.

Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said in a news conference that the weapon looked just like a real gun, comparing it to the one he carries on his hip and calling it “an exact replica of a Glock handgun.”

UPDATE: Buffalo Police said Tuesday that a second gun was recovered from a student’s backpack following their investigation. The gun was determined to be an inoperable “ghost gun” that was not fully assembled. Because of the age of the student and because the gun was not in working condition, no charges will be filed.

The school is located in Martin Luther King Jr. Park on the city’s East Side. Police believe there were “upwards of 400” students inside during summer school.

Rinaldo credited a student with alerting a parent that they saw another student in a bathroom with what appeared to be a handgun.

Police planned to interview students about the incident and Rinaldo said criminal charges “could be applied.” During the conference, Rinaldo noted that it’s illegal for anyone under 16 to possess a BB gun.

Amy Biber, the Museum of Science’s director of external relations, said there was never a reason to believe any guests were in danger. Patrons were free to continue their visit during the lockdown, but no one was permitted to enter or exit the building.

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.

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