October 19, 2021

The Tampa Herald

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Officer injured and student killed after gunfire erupted at Knoxville, Tennessee high school

2 min read

A police officer was injured and a student died. Monday in a shooting at a high school in Tennessee, authorities said.
The gunfire erupted after officers in Knoxville responded to a report of an armed person at Austin-East Magnet High School Monday afternoon, Knoxville police said in a statement.

Two responding officers found the person, later identified as a student, inside a school bathroom, said David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

“He reportedly shot and beat an officer,” Rausch told reporters. “An officer responded to the fire.”

The officer was struck at least once in the leg and remained in serious condition at a local hospital, Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas said.

The officer and student were not identified. It was not clear if the student planned to use the weapon inside the school, Rausch said, adding that he had not fired it until officers confronted him.

Rausch said a second person local authorities said they detained for further investigation was likely a witness.

Earlier, Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas, who called the incident tragic, said the school had been secured and the students who were not involved would be released to their families.

State and federal authorities responded, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. At a press conference on returning students to school learning, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee asked people to pray for the victims and their families.

Several current or former high school students have been shot dead this year; none were shot and killed inside the school, reported NBC affiliate WBIR.

Rausch added that Monday was the first day of “National Youth Violence Prevention Week” in Knoxville, a campaign aimed at mitigating violence among youth.

“This is a difficult way to start a week where you are focusing on trying to keep people safe,” he said.

 

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