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Second 17-year-old in custody in connection to McKinley High School violent attack

Violence at Mc
Tom Dinki
The parking lot of McKinley High School is tapped off with crime scene tape Feb. 9, 2022, following a stabbing and shooting that had occurred there earlier in the day.

Buffalo Police say a second 17-year-old male is in custody as of Monday afternoon in connection to last week's violent attack at McKinley High School.

On Wednesday afternoon, a 14-year-old male student and a 27-year-old security guard were injured and taken to area hospitals after a brawl in the school parking lot. The student had been stabbed, the security guard shot in the leg, and another 13-year-old student grazed in the arm by a bullet.

After a 17-year-old male was arrested Thursday in connection to the stabbing of the 14-year old, police announced another 17-year-old was in custody in connection to the shooting of the security guard.

Police said images from school surveillance cameras paired with tips from the community led to them identifying the 17-year-old as the alleged shooter early in the weekend.

News conference about arrests for McKinley High School violence
Mike Desmond
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (center from left to right), Buffalo Police Deputy Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia and Erie County District Attorney John Flynn speak at a news conference Feb. 14, 2022 about another arrest made in connection to a brawl at McKinely High School.

The SWAT Team was used to arrest the suspect at a home. Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the arrest was carefully planned and carried out.

"In this particular case, the new search warrant policies that have been enacted over the last couple of years also include the use of drones and drones did come into play in this case," he said. "We wanted to make sure that all precautions were used prior to entering the home, for the safest entry for everybody involved."

The arrest was carried out with a no-knock warrant, a
search warrant that allows police to enter a premise without first announcing their presence or purpose for entering.

"No-knock warrants are greatly, greatly, greatly restricted. Only a judge can issue a no-knock warrant," Gramaglia said. "However, through our procedures, those warrant requests from within our department, our detectives have to go all the way up through the chain of command. Multiple sets of eyes look at those and that was part of the weekend-long planning process for how this was going to go."

The suspect was charged with assault in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. He was arraigned and is being held pending further court appearances.

Meanwhile, the 17-year-old arrested on Thursday in connection to the stabbing was denied bail on Monday in court and continues to be remanded at a juvenile detention facility. He will be in court again on Wednesday at 2 p.m. He has been charged with one count of attempted murder in the second degree, and one count of assault in the first degree. Both are class B violent felonies.

Neither suspect has been named publicly, but both are McKinley students.

There could be more arrests coming. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said the brawl involved as many as two dozen people and there is an active search underway for more of those who participated.

The 14-year-old victim was still hospitalized as of Friday after receiving surgery. The security guard had non-life-threatening injuries and was released the next day.

McKinley High School students will not return to in-person learning until Thursday.

Correction: This story originally stated one of the charges as "assault in the second degree." The accused was charged with assault in the first degree.

Emyle Watkins is an investigative journalist covering disability for WBFO.
Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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