ASHLAND A child found a firearm on Poage Elementary School’s playground on Tuesday.

A kindergartener spotted the weapon some time between 11-11:30 a.m. but did not touch it.

No children were ever in danger upon the discovery of the gun, according to Ashland Independent Schools Superintendent Sean Howard.

Howard said in a phone message distributed to parents of Ashland students that children were not at risk.

He said the Ashland Police Department responded swiftly and promptly and secured the weapon.

The kindergarten student reported the weapon to teachers, who promptly notified school leadership and police. Howard remarked at the child’s awareness.

“That child apparently had the knowledge to know it was out of place and didn’t belong there and immediately told a teacher,” Howard said. “That’s pretty amazing.”

"The excellent staff at Poage promptly removed all children from the playground area, while notifying officers," read a post on the Ashland Police Department’s Facebook page after noon. "All students and staff are safely back inside the school. APD is in constant contact with the school and administrations as we are working through any potential clues of who would have placed the gun on school grounds."

APD told school staff that the firearm was buried in the mulch.

APD is still investigating the shooting that occurred Sunday night where 29th Street and Beech Street meet — which is about 300 yards from the school. APD has not yet named a suspect. No one is in custody. The victim, 38-year-old Eddie Smith, is in stable condition at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

"Officers and detectives have been and are currently checking the area on foot and with electronic equipment to ensure no other dangers are on the property," Tuesday’s APD post read.

APD is seeking public assistance for any information concerning these cases. Contact Detective Chris Lee at (606) 385-3273 or email

"The (Poage) staff ensured an immediate response to the safety of the children first," the post read. "APD promptly arrived and secured any potential hazards.”

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