Police say the loaded .22-caliber handgun was found on the 7-year-old boy when he arrived at Wave Preparatory School on Briar Place in Far Rockaway Thursday. A flare gun was also recovered from the scene.
His mother, 53-year-old Deborah Farley, is now charged with criminal possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child.
New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said Thursday that it wasn't clear whether the boy knew the items were in his backpack or whether the was stashed by someone at his home.
Farley reportedly told detectives during questioning that she put the weapon in her son's school bag and forgot about it. She then told school officials that her son had a dentist appointment, asking him in private about the gun. The boy apparently also brought the flare gun with him and told his mother he'd given it to a friend.
Detectives then searched her home in Far Rockaway and found additional ammunition.
The investigation initially indicated that the gun was placed in the bag by the boy's older brother, who may have local gang ties.
The school was locked down. The friend was found with the flare gun, and the backpack was searched and the semi-automatic pistol found.
The Education Department released the following statement:
"A lockdown was called at the PS 215Q campus by a member of the staff of WAVE Preparatory Academy. A gun was found in the bookbag of a second grade student. The gun was confiscated. NYPD, School Safety were on site. Parent of the student was notified."
The investigation is ongoing.
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