St Louis, Missouri: Sappington Elementary School principal Craig Hamby discovered a loaded handgun on the school’s Grant’s Farm athletic field on Wednesday, May 17. Employees at the farm told Hamby about a vehicle accident around 2am at the corner of Pardee Road and Eddie and Park Road in which a car crashed through a fence at the field. The accident was near the back of the school at 11011 Gravois Road.

As farm staff worked to repair the fence, Hamby walked the perimeter. “I thought I was being overly cautious when I went up there, not thinking I would find anything, but I did,” he said. “It was a pretty good toss from where the accident scene was. It was across the road, over a sidewalk, over some grass, and over a fence. The suspect must have a pretty good arm.”

He immediately notified the county school resource officer and alerted his staff to keep student off the field until police could safely collect the evidence. No activities involving students were planned at the school that morning, according to Hamby, at no time were students under any threat.

St. Louis County Police Spokesman Benjamin Granada said the car crashed through a chain link fence and the driver ran off. Police later arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident and possession of controlled substances. It is not known at this time what charges will be made.

Police aren’t yet certain whether the gun was thrown from the vehicle during the accident or if the suspect tossed it as he fled the scene. In a statement, Granada said, “officers searched the area after the accident, but were unable to locate it in the dark conditions.”

Hamby sent a letter out to parents, explaining what happened at the school. He reiterated the fact that the firearm wasn’t near a location where students would be until later in the school day.

Grant’s Farm is a 281-acre historic home named for Ulysses S. Grant and part of the ancestral home of the Busch family. Currently, the farm is operated by Anheuser-Busch InBev. A spokesperson from the corporation could not be reached, and it’s not known if any of the animals at the farm were in danger of injury or release due to the accident.

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