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The mother of a 7-year-old boy who was found with a loaded handgun in his book bag at a school in New York's Far Rockaway has been arrested in connection with the incident, police said.
Deborah Farley, 53, of Queens, was charged Friday with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of a weapon. It wasn't immediately clear if she had a lawyer.
Police say Farley brought her son to P.S. 215 Thursday morning, and came back to the school a short time later, claiming she needed to take him to a doctor appointment.
Law enforcement sources said Farley learned her son had a gun in his bag and went to the school to try to retrieve it under the guise of a doctor appointment. When she couldn't find the gun in his bag, she alerted school officials, law enforcement sources said.
School officials found the loaded .22-caliber handgun and police were called. It's not clear how the mother knew her son had the firearm, nor how school officials found it. Police also recovered a flare gun at the school, but it wasn't immediately clear whether the boy had brought it in.
The school was locked down for about 45 minutes.
Fourth-grader Israel Tavares said kids were herded into the back of his classroom and told to say quiet. When asked what was going through his mind, he said: "The person was gonna find us."
Another student said she ran to the back of her classroom "so if someone went through the door they wouldn't be able to see me."
Parents were rattled when they learned about the gun scare.
Cecilia Dennis said her 8-year-old son, Giovanni, had to crouch down by the water fountain during the lockdown.
"We send our kids here to have an education," she said. "And we have to worry about things of this nature."