UPDATE: CARTHAGE, Mo. — Carthage police now say two guns found near the high school have no connection to the school or anyone on campus.

Authorities have determined a suspect threw the weapons out of his vehicle as he drove past the south technical center and then immediately left school property. Police have video confirmation of the incident and are also working to see whether the guns may have been stolen outside of Carthage.

The first weapon was discovered by a school staff member Monday night. A police search led to the discovery of a second gun nearby. Authorities canvassed all Carthage schools and determined there was no threat to students, allowing school to go on as usual.


ORIGINAL: CARTHAGE, Mo. — Joplin News First received information Monday evening regarding two guns that were discovered on Carthage school property not far from the Carthage Tech Center.

We observed Carthage Police with the assistance of Carthage Fire Department (utilizing lights) searching the grounds of the high school grounds and also the Carthage Middle School at Fir and Chapel Road. We left at nearly 1:00 AM and there was not a statement released or information from the district at that late hour.

However Tuesday at 7:00 AM in a recorded phone calls to parents and staff Dr. Mark Baker addressed the discovery of two weapons, now clarified in information as guns. Although we have not heard the message it was described to us by tipsters as good information, schools will be stepping up security and keeping everyone informed.

Both weapons, make and model not disclosed, were found in an area south and east of the tech center according to an online statement from the Carthage Superintendant Dr. Mark Baker.

“I need to address a rumor regarding weapons being found on the high school campus. Two weapons were found southeast of the South Tech Center. We do not know how long the weapons have been there. Carthage Police and Fire Departments searched the area and nothing was found. Additionally, all school properties have been searched. We do not believe there are any safety risks. I will update you if circumstances change. Thank you.”

Dr. Mark Baker, Carthage Schools Superintendant
Message from Superintendant Dr. Mark Baker posted on the R-9 FB page.

Additionally this is information released to parents, staff and students. The short information printed online for the public was also posted by the Carthage Police Department at the same time. There has not been a press conference to answer detailed questions, concerns and plans.

Not only are Carthage Police officers involved today in covering all school properties but also Jasper County Sheriff’s Office Deputites are present on campuses and doing random sweeps according to information we are receiving from staff, parents and tipsters.

Developing situation we will update with more as it becomes available.