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On Friday, March 6 at approximately 8:44 p.m., Ringgold County Dispatch received a 911 call about a man with a gun at Mount Ayr High School.
About the same time, Sheriff Rob Haley had received a text reporting suspicions that a man was drinking beer in the MACHS auditorium during the performance of the school play. (Following the performance, at least one beer container was discovered in the auditorium.)
When the man, Thomas Scott Kinton, 56, of Ellston left the auditorium to use the restroom, former sheriff Mike Sobotka, who happened to be in attendance at the play, was asked to intercept Kinton before he could reenter the auditorium.
When Sobotka asked Kinton if he was carrying a handgun, Kinton volunteered without incident to take his weapon to his vehicle.
At that point, Ringgold County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene and arrested Kinton for carrying weapons on school grounds, possession of a dangerous weapon while intoxicated, and consumption of alcohol in a public place.
Kinton is being held in the Ringgold County Jail pending an appearance before a magistrate.
Any potential criminal charges identified above are merely allegations and any defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.