Loaded Handgun Found On School Playground

A frightening find for an elementary school teacher in the east who discovered a gun on the outdoor basketball courts. The gun was discovered at Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary School in Craven County Tuesday and police say they are still investigating.

With children at play signs nearby, the basketball courts outside Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary School is perhaps the last place you would expect to find a loaded handgun.

"I just thank god they left it there and it didn't hurt anybody," said parent Lajeanna Cronier.

A teacher found that gun Tuesday morning on a routine check of the courts looking for items left from the night before. That's when parents were notified.

"They alerted everybody with instant alert messages from school, but I really think it's one of those things that happens because on a general rule the school is very safe," said Cronier.

Retired teacher Richard Cannon, Jr. used to work at the school and says protecting kids is a top priority.

"You try everyday to head off anything that might be out of the ordinary," said Cannon.

Which is exactly what happened when a teacher, instead of a child, found the gun. Cronier just wishes things like this didn't happen in the first place.

"It doesn't really matter what they do. Somebody is always going to break the rules. There is no trespassing signs up there but somebody is always going to break the rules," said Cronier

An investigation is now underway to try and determine who broke the rules, and how that gun got there.
Vanceboro police say they are working with the ATF on the case.

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A loaded handgun has been found on an elementary school playground.

Craven County Schools say the gun was found by a teacher at Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary School around 10:30 Tuesday morning.

The school system says Vanceboro police were immediately called and they believe the gun was left on the basketball court.

School officials say those courts have been known to have belongings left behind after weekend games and have become a trouble area. So much that teachers go out and clean up the area and make sure it's safe before children go out to play. Parents were sent an "Alert Now" message about the discovery.

Vanceboro police have not returned phone calls seeking additional information.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Concerned Parent Location: Vanceboro on Jun 2, 2011 at 03:42 PM
    What i would like to know is if it was left there from the night before, why wasn't it found before 10:30 am? Shouldn't they do their checks before school begins? Don't get me wrong, thank God that a teacher found it and not a child. And why weren't we notified until 6:30 pm?
  • by JusticeForAll on Jun 2, 2011 at 01:36 PM
    This story is obviously completly fictional and made-up. It is against NC State and Federal laws to possess a firearm on school property, so there is NO WAY that soeone could have left a gun on this school's playground. Everyone knows that EVERYONE obeys "gun control" laws, and that these laws actually work to stop criminals from doing bad things... Please, WITN, stop publishing these made-up, fictional stories...
  • by Greg Location: craven on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:57 PM
    Hopefully the staff left it lying there and let the law get the gun. Maybe they even had it checked for fingerprints. Whoever had it and left it had no business on school property with it. The best thing is whoever was dumb enough to lay a gun down and walk off and forget it no longer has it.
  • by concerned citizen Location: eastern nc on Jun 1, 2011 at 07:07 PM
    Why is people allowed on school grounds that do not belong there especially when the school is closed? I love the way that school officials referred to "after a game". What kind of game are they referring to because there is no official games held at that school this time of the year and never are there any official games held on the basketball court on the playground. Maybe if the law checks the school more often and arrest anyone who is trespassing after school hours then the problem would be solved.
    • reply
      by PARENT on Jun 2, 2011 at 07:00 AM in reply to concerned citizen
      The baseball field, tennis court, and outside basketball court are not enclosed so the public has access after school hours. It is patrolled by the local police but they have limited manpower and coverage.
  • by Getting Funny To Me on Jun 1, 2011 at 04:01 PM
    This kind of thing never happened when I was a child. This place is nothing like the "Mayberry" I grew up in. What happened?
  • by anon on Jun 1, 2011 at 03:57 PM
    my question is why did they wait till late afternoon to notify parents. was the school locked down during this issue..
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2011 at 04:53 PM in reply to anon
      no it was not.
    • reply
      by Concerned parent on Jun 2, 2011 at 03:38 PM in reply to anon
      I said the exact same thing. I was very upset. I was not notified until 6:33 pm.
  • by Susan Location: Winterville on Jun 1, 2011 at 03:08 PM
    We really should layoff more school staff, after all the kids are mature enough to handle their own safety and they can just sit in front of their computers and google all of the education they could ever need. Who cares if we become the United States of China?
    • reply
      by Stew pit !! on Jun 1, 2011 at 07:44 PM in reply to Susan
      Mature enough? The students at this school are about 6 years old. You need to get a little more education before you type.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 2, 2011 at 01:22 AM in reply to Stew pit !!
        I think she was being sarcastic, Stew Pit
      • reply
        by RdoubleD on Jun 2, 2011 at 03:32 AM in reply to Stew pit !!
        The proctologist called. He's found your head. It was sarcasm! She made a funny. Duh!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 2, 2011 at 05:18 AM in reply to Stew pit !!
        Stew Pit is as Stew Pit does!
  • by Carrier on Jun 1, 2011 at 02:58 PM
    But, but, but schools are a "No Guns Allowed" area!! Oh, that's right, criminals DON'T CARE about signs and laws. That's why the rest of us SHOULD be allowed to carry our legally purchased guns wherever we go and eliminate these "victim zones".
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