ASHLAND — Ashland police are investigating whether a gun that was found buried on an elementary school playground is connected to a recent shooting in the area.

According to the Ashland Police Department, police were notified by Poage Elementary School that a firearm was found on the playground about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. The firearm was buried in the playground surface.

No students came into direct contact with the firearm, and all students and staff are safe. APD praised the response of the staff, who promptly removed all children from the playground area while also notifying authorities.

Officers and detectives will continue to check the area on foot and with electronic equipment to ensure no other dangers remain on the property. APD is also investigating whether the gun was used in a recent shooting in the area.

Eddie R. Smith, 38, of Ashland, is in stable condition after being shot about 8:20 p.m. Sunday in a home at the intersection of South 29th and Beech streets in Ashland. Poage Elementary School neighbors the address where the shooting took place.

Anyone who has information regarding either case is asked to contact Detective Lee at 606-385-3273 or email the department at silentwitness@ashlandky.gov.

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