Some New Albany High School students allegedly found an unloaded rifle Dec. 7 near the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, according to an email from New Albany-Plain Local Superintendent Michael Sawyers.

New Albany police Sgt. Garrett Fernander said the students discovered an SKS rifle – a Soviet Union-designed semiautomatic carbine – along a retention pool.

The rifle showed some rust but still was serviceable, Fernander said. He said he wasn't sure how old the rifle was or how long it had been there before it was discovered.

Few other details were immediately available, but Sawyers' email said:

"After school today, some New Albany High School students found an old rifle wrapped in a blanket on the edge of the woods near the public library at Market Square. The students immediately called 911. The police department responded and confirmed that the weapon was unloaded.

"Our students acted swiftly and appropriately. When you 'see something, say something.' The New Albany Police Department is now conducting an investigation.

"Again, all students are safe. These are the facts known at this time."

District spokesman Patrick Gallaway said district officials had no further comment at the moment.

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