Father of kindergartner who found gun on playground calls son 'hero'

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ASHLAND, Ky. - Tyler Arthur called his son a hero at the dinner table on Tuesday evening.

Six-year-old Levi Arthur just shrugged and moved on in a very kindergarten-like manner.

Jennifer Arthur received the same phone call that every Ashland parent fielded on Tuesday around noon — that a gun had been found on the playground at Poage Elementary, but that everyone was safe.

A few hours later — after Levi rode the bus home — the Arthurs were at the dinner table when Levi, one of three siblings, revealed that he was the kindergartener who spotted the firearm at recess.

Levi and two of his friends were playing, Tyler Arthur said, when they saw some “shiny things like diamonds,” according to Levi.

“He said they started looking and found a box covered with mulch, and they brushed the mulch off of it because they thought it was treasure,” Arthur said.

Arthur acknowledged that it may not have been an actual box.

“He wouldn’t know a case or anything like that,” Arthur said. “But he said he opened it up and saw it, then he told his friends, ‘Stop, don’t touch that.’ That’s when he said he ran up and told his teacher. His teacher told him to stay right where they were.

“It blew my mind,” Arthur said.

When Jennifer Arthur first received the phone call, she immediately rang Tyler.

“She called me and told me what happened,” Tyler Arthur said. “I wasn’t really thinking at all that it could’ve been my kid that found it.”

Arthur said he plans to talk to the school today to get more details.

“He did all the right things,” Arthur said. “I told him, ‘You’re a hero, dude. I’m proud of you.’”

Arthur said Levi has been brought up around guns, and he and Jennifer have educated him about them.

“I carry every day. He knows what they are, what they’re capable of, and that they’re not for him,” Arthur said. “Even when we play Nerf guns, we’re not shooting directly at each other.”

Arthur said he was skeptical about Levi’s revelation at first, but the story is “all checking out.”

“Instead of him finding it and saying, ‘What is that?’ He knew what it was, and he knew better than to touch it,” Arthur said.

Ashland Independent Schools Superintendent Sean Howard could not disclose information regarding the identity of the child who found the gun.

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