A student allegedly shooting inside the Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tennessee was killed by a police officer, who was wounded in the exchange of fire. The school was evacuated and classes canceled.
An officer responded to a report of someone armed on school grounds and was shot by the suspect, Knoxville PD said. He returned fire and fatally shot the suspect, who was later confirmed to be a student. Another male teenager was “detained for further investigation,” police said.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel had reported that two people were shot – a student and a police officer on duty at the school – citing law enforcement sources, before the official police statement came shortly after 5:30 pm local time.
The officer was reportedly shot in the hip and is recovering.
“He is conscious and in good spirits. … He’s going to be OK. I thanked him for putting his life on the line to protect students and staff at the school. He said he’d rather be hurt than anybody else,” Mayor Indya Kincannon told CBS News.
A ‘reunification site’ for parents and their children was established by first responders at a baseball field behind the high school, according to police. Local media reported students “trickling out” of the school.
Superintendent of Knoxville County Schools Bob Thomas appeared to confirm this, tweeting that students “not involved in the incident have been released to their families.”
Both in-person and online classes have been canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee addressed the shooting at a Monday press conference calling for prayers for victims and their families.
“Pray for that situation, for the families and victims who might be affected in our state,” he said.
Knoxville recently approved $1 million for “violence prevention” efforts, spurred by the deaths of four teens with ties to Austin-East earlier this year. All four were African-American.