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‘Operable’ grenade found near school

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State police say device lacked explosives, not likely directed at Phoenix Academy

By Ben Carlson

The last thing middle school football coach Brian Holloman expected to see Monday when he pulled into the Phoenix Academy parking lot was a grenade.
But when he got out of his truck, that’s exactly what he saw and it didn’t take long for him to call for help.
“That’s the closest I’ve ever been to a grenade,” said Holloman. “I really wasn’t scared. In my mind I was thinking is this real or a toy.
“Once I realized what it was, my next step was to call someone.”
That someone was Lawrenceburg Police officer Joe Saunier, one of the school district’s resource officers.
“I asked him to come and check it out,” Holloman said.
Saunier and a host of other officers did just that, along with the Kentucky State Police’s hazardous materials unit who was able to determine that while real, the grenade contained no explosives.
“It was an operable device, but it was empty,” said Detective Ben Wolcott. “There was no risk to anything in the area, but it was operable. I just didn’t have any of the necessary powders to operate it efficiently.”
The grenade was found just several feet from the entrance to the Phoenix Academy, the district’s alternative school located on Industry Drive.
It appeared that it was thrown into the lot from Champions All Stars Cheerleading next door, where officers found the grenade’s handle and firing pin.
Wolcott said there was no indication that the grenade was the intended target.
“I can’t say that with any kind of certainty,” he said. “It probably wasn’t a specific target. There were several areas out there it could have been directed toward.”
Still, Wolcott said, there is reason for concern.
“It is a concern and I’m going to continue to investigate this,” he said, adding that he will have the device checked for fingerprints.
Holloman, the teacher, said finding a grenade in the parking lot concerned him, too.
“Obviously there are always concerns,” he said. “From my perspective it makes me feel better that there weren’t any kids in school … that there were no students in there.”

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Know who did it?
The Kentucky State Police continues to investigate a grenade in the Phoenix Academy parking lot.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Ben Wolcott at 502-227-2221.
Callers can remain anonymous.