KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A student died and a police officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries in a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School in east Tennessee on Monday afternoon, the Knoxville Police Department confirmed.
Here are the latest updates:
Update 8:19 p.m. ET April 15: The student was identified as Anthony Thompson Jr., the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said Thursday she will not release the body camera footage that shows Thompson fatally shot until her investigation is completed, the newspaper reported.
“I understand the community, the press, the citizens want to see the body camera footage in this case. I want to give you that,” Allen said at a news conference.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon had asked Allen to release a redacted version of the video, but Allen declined, the News Sentinel reported.
Allen added she would not release evidence to the public until the student’s family had a chance to view the body camera footage, the newspaper reported.
According to a news release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, preliminary examinations indicate the bullet that struck the officer was not fired from Thompson Jr.’s handgun.
Update 9:38 p.m. ET April 12: An Austin-East student has been identified as the single fatality in the officer-involved shooting, WVLT reported.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David B. Rausch said during a news conference that Knoxville officers responded to the school at around 3:15 p.m. to a report of someone possibly armed with a gun. Upon arrival, the officers located an armed student inside a school restroom.
Officers reportedly ordered the student out of the restroom, but he refused to comply, the TV station reported.
The student fired on the officers as they entered the restroom, Rausch stated. Preliminary examinations indicate the bullet that struck the officer was not fired from the student’s handgun, according to a news release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
It remained unclear Monday night if the returned fire struck the student, WVLT reported.
The student, who has not been identified publicly, died at the school, while the injured officer was taken into surgery after being shot at least once in the upper leg, authorities confirmed to The Associated Press.
The officer is expected to recover, and no other injuries were reported.
Knox County Schools resumed in-person learning in January, but Austin-East Magnet High School reverted briefly to virtual instruction in February, following a series of off-campus shooting deaths that killed three of the school’s students within a three-week span. Two of those victims were 15, and the third was 16. The age of the student who died Monday has not been confirmed.
“I know that school is a safe place,” Kincannon said during a February news conference, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. “It’s a place where people are learning. ... The issues with violence are happening in the community, and it’s affecting kids when they’re outside of the school. That’s why we are focusing our efforts to protect the innocent, protect the school, protect the children and students and staff.”
Update 5:55 p.m. ET April 12: According to a statement issued by the police department at around 5:30 p.m., Knoxville officers responded to the school at around 3:15 p.m. for a report of a possibly armed male, and shots were fired as officers approached the suspect.
“One male was pronounced deceased at the scene, while another was detained for further investigation,” the department stated, noting an unidentified Knoxville police officer was also struck at least once by a bullet and transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
“There are no other known gunshot victims,” the department stated.
- Officer Involved Shooting at Austin East High School - @TBInvestigation will be the lead investigating agency and provide further information as it becomes available. pic.twitter.com/Hjetzf1vNT— Knoxville Police TN (@Knoxville_PD) April 12, 2021
It was not immediately clear if the individual detained by authorities was the suspected gunman for whom officers were originally called. Neither his nor the victim’s identity has been released.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will lead the investigation.
Our prayers are with our LEO family @Knoxville_PD especially the officer shot in the line of duty this afternoon. We wish him a full & speedy recovery! Additionally, we are praying for the entire Austin East Community this evening.— knoxsheriff (@knoxsheriff) April 12, 2021
-Tom Spangler, Sheriff
Update 5:28 p.m. ET April 12: Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon told WVLT that the police officer injured in the shooting is conscious and in good spirits. Kincannon said she met with the officer and his wife at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
KPD Officer shot at A&E is conscious and in good spirits - according to @MayorKincannon who met with him and his wife at UT Medical @wvlt pic.twitter.com/k97mfweykP— Amanda Hara (@AmandaHara) April 12, 2021
Update 4:51 p.m. ET April 12: The scene is not considered an active shooter situation at this time, a spokesperson for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office told WVLT.
“I’m walking up to the scene now, all I can say is pray,” Knoxville Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie told the TV station.
Knoxville City Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas told WATE that the school building “has been secured” and that students who were not involved in the incident “have been released to their families.”
As details continue to emerge, our thoughts are with Austin East Magnet High School and those school community members who have been affected by the shooting that took place this afternoon. The department stands ready to support.— TN Dept of Education (@TNedu) April 12, 2021
Original report: A police officer is among “multiple” gunshot victims at Austin-East Magnet High School in Tennessee, the Knoxville Police Department confirmed via Twitter just before 4 p.m. Monday.
Multiple agencies are on the scene of a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School. Multiple gunshot victims reported, including a KPD officer. The investigation remains active at this time. Please avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/ViQirnQSpx— Knoxville Police TN (@Knoxville_PD) April 12, 2021
According to police, a reunification site has been established at the baseball field behind the school, and the investigation remains “active.”
#BREAKING: Knoxville Police are reporting several people are hurt after a shooting at Austin-East High School including a Knoxville Police officer. Police and emergency crews have the immediate area closed off around the school. @6News pic.twitter.com/Ad7K8ZemAG— Austin Martin (@AMartinNews) April 12, 2021
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Cox Media Group