Buffalo winter storm: Police searching for hero credited with saving several lives

Buffalo winter storm: Police searching for hero credited with saving several lives

Police are looking for a man who walked into a Buffalo-area school on Dec. 23 — not to charge him with a crime, but to thank him for his selfless actions that likely saved several lives and two dogs during the brutal storm. winter last week.

The man, who police are calling “Merry Christmas Jay,” left a note explaining that he broke a window Friday night so he could bring some people inside Pine Hill School in the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga.

“I am terribly sorry that I broke the glass of the school [and] for breaking into the kitchen,” the note says.

“I got stranded at 8pm on a Friday and slept in my truck with two strangers. Just trying not to die. There were also 7 elderly people stranded and no fuel. I had to do it to save them all and to provide them with shelter and food and a bathroom.”

Police want to thank a man who walked into a Buffalo-area school to save several people during last week’s brutal winter storm. (Cheektowaga Police Department)

The man left a note explaining why he entered the school and signed it, ‘Merry Christmas, Jay.’ (Cheektowaga Police Department)

A key holder at the school had received an alarm about an internal break-in on Friday evening, but police were unable to respond immediately due to worsening weather.


When an officer eventually got to the school later that weekend, he found the note from “Merry Christmas Jay.”

Individuals sheltered from the storm inside Pine HIll School last Friday and Saturday. (Cheektowaga Police Department)

The group ate food from the kitchen and used the gym where their children played, then cleaned up before leaving, police said. (Cheektowaga Police Department)

When the Cheektowaga Police Department released surveillance footage from inside the school, they “proved that people cared about people.”

“There was a fridge full of food, but no one touched it. They only ate what was necessary to stay alive. They used the gym for the kids to play and took the smart boards out of the classroom to watch the news for updates.” said the Cheektowaga Police Department.

“They had 2 dogs they were taking care of as well. When they were finally able to get away safely, you’d never know someone was there.”

Strong wind blows snow in a neighborhood in Buffalo, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)


At least 39 people died in the winter storm that hit Buffalo on Friday and Saturday.

The National Guard was going door-to-door in New York’s second-largest city on Thursday, and officials warned that more bodies could be found.

Paul Best is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital and Fox Business. Story tips and ideas can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @KincaidBest.

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