Two handguns were found in the backpacks of New York City public school students in separate boroughs Thursday — and the one that was loaded was in the possession of a 6-year-old, authorities say.
The 6-year-old presumably didn’t know the gun had been there. Cops say they were alerted to the find at Boys Prep Bronx, a public charter school on East 151st Street in Concourse, around 8:30 am
It’s not clear how the gun got inside the boy’s backpack. Police say the kindergartener had been dropped off at school Thursday by his uncle. School administrators were notified after he opened his backpack and found another bag inside with the gun. The gun was loaded, officials say.
That investigation is ongoing, and cops are speaking with the child’s mother in connection with the case. The Bronx charter school has no scanners, officials say.
“Our staff acted quickly today to ensure everyone’s safety and communicate with our families and the proper authorities,” a school spokesperson said in a statement. “We are obviously shocked and saddened by this situation and are now focused on reviewing our procedures while also ensuring this student and his classmates have the support they need. We promptly notified law enforcement and will assist however we can with their investigation.”
Around the same time, cops say they found a 14-year-old boy in possession of a 9-mm handgun at a high school in Brooklyn. That weapon, which was discovered just before 8:30 am Thursday at Brooklyn Collegiate Prep High School on Bergen Street in Brownsville, was not loaded, officials said.
Sources familiar with that investigation say the student was seen on video displaying firearms with other students. Officials were made aware. School safety agents searched the student’s backpack and allegedly found the gun.
Charges are pending against the 14-year-old, police say.
The school safety agents’ union says the Brooklyn school has about 1,000 kids enrolled. The number of safety agents assigned to it has been cut in half since the pandemic started, the union said. No scanners are there either.
The city’s Department of Education said such finds could not be tolerated in schools.
“Weapons of any kind have absolutely no place in our schools. The Department of Education is wholly committed to making sure our students, schools and communities are safe,” the statement said. “Our school staff and School Safety Agents acted immediately and safely recovered the item, and all safety procedures were followed. We are working closely with NYPD regarding follow-up actions.”