Tennessee Student Shot Dead by Officer Following Gunfire at Austin-East Magnet High School
Authorities clarified that the incident at the Knoxville high school "wasn't a school shooting," rather, "an officer-involved shooting inside a school.”
No classes will be held for the next two days at the Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, after gunfire erupted Monday, killing a high school student and injuring a police officer in the process. Neither have yet been identified and authorities are still investigating the events of the shooting.
“We are all devastated by this tragedy,” Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas said in a press conference Monday, adding that counselors will be available and the rest of the week’s classes may also be canceled.
Knoxville Police were called to the high school Monday afternoon to respond to reports of someone who may have been armed with a gun, later identified as a male student, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said in a press release.
Authorities found the student in the bathroom and “ordered him out, but he refused to comply,” the statement said. The student allegedly fired his gun and shot an officer in the leg when an officer returned fire.
The student was pronounced dead at the scene and the officer who was shot is expected to make a full recovery. “He’d rather be hurt than anyone else and he’s in very good spirits,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said, according to WVLT.
No one else was hurt in the incident.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations also clarified that this was not a school shooting.
“We have to be careful with our language,” Director David Rausch said. “This wasn’t a school shooting. This was an officer-involved shooting inside a school.”
Rausch added that it wasn’t clear whether the student had been planning to use the gun inside the school at all until officers arrived.
Austin-East Magnet High School is a Title 1 school, which means the student body comprises largely of students from low-income families, and the school receives federal funding to support “lowest-achieving students,” according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The school district lost several other students to various gun violence-related events earlier this year, Thomas said in a statement.
The school had also implemented a new bag policy last month, which states that bags over a certain size must be either clear or mesh, WVLT reported.
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