You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

2 men charged in school gun incident

One of the men said he mistakenly brought the gun to Kenwood Elementary School while picking up his child from school.

Two men who were arrested after they brought an airsoft gun to an elementary school, causing the building to go on lockdown, said the incident was a misunderstanding.

Allen Sanders and Donald Hanke are both charged with illegal conveyance of a weapon into a school zone and inducing panic, which are first-degree misdemeanors. The men pleaded not guilty to the charges in Clark County Municipal Court on Friday.

The two were arrested Thursday at Kenwood Elementary School after a custodian noticed them on school grounds. One of the men was seen carrying what appeared to be a gun, which Springfield police later determined was an airsoft pellet gun pistol. School staff called 911 and the building was placed on lockdown.

Both men were at the school to pick-up their children. Sanders said he uses the airsoft gun to scare off cats on his property and had no idea he’d left it in his back pocket when he went to the school. He noticed it before he went inside to use the bathroom, and handed it to Hanke. When he saw teachers pulling students inside classrooms and officers coming up the hallway, Sanders said he realized his mistake.

“I said,’it was an airsoft gun. It was me. I had to go to the bathroom. I left it with my buddy,” Sanders said.

Hanke, who was waiting outside, said he had no idea why police were flooding the grounds, or that he was carrying the “gun” officers were looking for.

“Somebody (came) out, says, ‘somebody’s got a gun.’ I didn’t know they were talking about us. I thought it was a real one myself,” he said.

Explaining to their children about what happened was a tough conversation, they said. While they believe the entire incident was a “big misunderstanding,” Sanders and Hanke agreed they felt the school and police acted appropriately.

“It could never be too much if it was something real,” Hanke said.

“They did their job and they handled it well. It just happened to be at my expense,” Sanders said.

Both men are barred from being on school grounds while their criminal cases are pending.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Crime

Restaurant owner criticized for offering stereotypical special on MLK Jr. Day
Restaurant owner criticized for offering stereotypical special on MLK Jr. Day

A Texas restaurant owner said she didn't think she did anything wrong when she promoted a holiday special on Facebook. >> Read more trending stories   Sabrina Pyle, owner of Azle Café in Azle, Texas, was hoping to draw in more customers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day when she offered a unique meal. "I came up with this incredible...
Pet owners harm animals for drugs
Pet owners harm animals for drugs

Local veterinarians say people are harming their pets as a way to obtain prescription drugs.   According to Dr. Beth Weisberger with North Main Animal clinic, owners have been bringing in pets with suspicious injuries as a way to get their hands on opioids.  Back in 2013, Ohio law makers approved a bill to stop pet owners who are abusing...
Hero grandfather stops woman from kidnapping his granddaughter at the park, police say
Hero grandfather stops woman from kidnapping his granddaughter at the park, police say

An Auburn, California, grandfather enjoying the duck pond at a park with his two grandchildren won a "tug of war" between an apparently sober stranger who tried to run off with his three-year-old granddaughter, whom the accused addressed by a different name. KTXL reported that Lindsay Frasher, 28, was arrested, police say, after she...
Stealth fighter, WWII plane to fly over Air Force Marathon
Stealth fighter, WWII plane to fly over Air Force Marathon

For the first time, a stealth fighter jet and an historic World War II fighter are expected to fly over the Air Force Marathon in September, a spokesman said Wednesday. The F-22 Raptor, one of the Air Force’s most advanced stealth fighters, and P-51 Mustang, a pivotal fighter plane flown in World War II, also will adorn runners’ medals...
Mother and 15-month-old daughter battle cancer together
Mother and 15-month-old daughter battle cancer together

In June 2016, 31-year-old Heather Wilson from Conyers, Georgia, was diagnosed with a brain cancer doctors deemed "inoperable." Five days before Christmas, Wilson's 15-month-old daughter, London, was admitted to the hospital for a germ cell tumor. "What are the chances? It's unbelievable," Pam Hunt, London's great aunt...
More Stories