A Buffalo teenager was sentenced Friday to one to three years in a state facility for attempted murder in a knife attack that severely wounded a student outside McKinley High School a year ago.
Eighteen-year-old Kushal Tamang, who admitted he was an accomplice in the incident, will get credit for the nearly one year he has already served in a youth detention center.
Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case granted Tamang youthful offender status despite opposition from prosecutors who characterized him as the facilitator of the violent altercation that led to a 14-year-old male student being beaten and stabbed multiple times on Feb. 9, 2022.
Tamang, who was 17 at the time, pleaded guilty on Jan. 4 to attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault. He was not the person who stabbed the victim, his lawyers said.
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Kushal Tamang, 18, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault in the Feb. 9 stabbing and beating of a 14-year-old.
After Tamang's sentencing, 18-year-old Rismay Tee pleaded guilty Friday to two felonies for shooting a McKinley High security guard in the leg as the guard tried to break up the melee caused by the stabbing.
Prosecutors said he intentionally fired multiple rounds from an illegal weapon during the incident. The security officer was was treated at Erie County Medical Center and released.
Tee pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree assault. He is scheduled to return to court for his sentencing on March 10. Case ordered he be held in the custody of the Erie County Youth Services Center until then.
The security officer, along with the mother and grandmother of the 14-year-old stabbing victim, were in the court for Tamang's sentencing and Tee's guilty pleas. The stabbing victim's grandmother told Case of the horror she experienced upon learning what had happened to her grandson, who was taken by ambulance to Oishei Children’s Hospital where he was hospitalized for 21 days.
"It was like I heard the earth crack," she said, describing how she felt nearly suffocated in the moment.
She went on to share that, in addition to being stabbed multiple times and beaten, her grandson's hair was ripped out in the attack and that he required seven pints of blood afterward.
Later, during a news conference in his office, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. revealed the reason for the attack.
"The reason for the fight was over a girl, and it wasn't even over a kind of boyfriend/girlfriend dating thing. It was over a guy calling a girl a bad name," said Flynn.
"A guy who knew the girl didn't like it, so now you've got a group of guys squaring off against a group of guys in a parking lot over something as silly as that," he added.
Despite the prosecution's contention that, on the day of the incident, Tamang left McKinley and returned upon dismissal with other armed individuals, Tamang's attorneys insisted that he never encouraged anyone to bring a knife or a weapon to the fight.
Tamang's lawyers said he has never deflected blame for having beaten the 14-year-old but also insisted that no one has ever come forward to identify him as having had a knife at the time of the attack. One of his lawyers said Tamang has shown remorse for his actions and that he had repeatedly asked his counsel about the health of the victim.
Flynn said no one has been charged for the actual stabbing.
Meanwhile, Case issued an order of protection for the victim and his family that will remain in effect until Feb. 10, 2034.