One person was killed and an officer was injured after a shooting at Knoxville High School in Tennessee.
The shooting happened around 3:15 p.m., after police responded to a call from an armed male student locked in a bathroom at Austin-East Magnet High School. When the officers entered the bathroom, the student fired at them, hitting an officer. He was hit and killed by backfire by police, authorities said.
Knoxville police chief Yves Thomas said the officer who was shot was in serious condition and underwent surgery Monday night.
“It was just very chilling,” Thomas said. “First, to hear that we have a police officer, and second, that he was at school.
“It’s a sad day for Knoxville in our community and our police department.”
Police and emergency workers flooded the neighborhood around 3 p.m. and blocked access to the school and parts of the neighborhood.
Knox County School Board member Eveti Sutherfield is the first civil servant to confirm that a student has been killed. Sutherfield walked across the road to a crowd of reporters, protesters and onlookers after the incident.
“We had an officer who was shot. He is recovering in hospital, she said. “We have a student who has died.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released more information at a news conference Monday night, including that the student had been pronounced dead at the scene.
We spent a lot of time when I was here, we spent a lot of time working in Austin-East, and you know, I have great memories of interacting with students there and staff there, so it’s hard, “TBI Director David Rausch said.” My prayer. is that the community will come together, you know, don’t let that split. Come together. Let’s keep working. “
State Representative Sam Mackenzie, who represents the area and went to the school, said in a statement, “I can’t describe my sadness because another horrific act of gunfire has taken place in my community,” calling on the community to “Restore the sanctity of our beloved neighborhood.” . “
Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation last week that will make Tennessee the newest state that will soon allow most adults ages 21 and older to carry guns – overt or covert – without first clearing the check and training. Lee backed the law against objections from law enforcement groups, who argued that the state’s existing licensing system provided an important guarantee of knowing who should or should not carry a gun.
The law, which does not apply to long arms, will take effect on July 1.
The shooting comes amid a wave of other high-profile violent incidents, including mass shootings in Boulder, Colorado, Atlanta and Orange, California.
In recent months, the deaths of four Knoxville teenagers have become a rallying cry for community members pushing for an end to gun violence.
Justin Taylor, a 15-year-old student from Austin East, died on Jan. 27 after police said a 17-year-old boy accidentally shot him while they were in a car. Investigators quickly arrested the 17-year-old man on charges of criminal negligence.
Another teenager, 16-year-old Stanley Freeman Jr., was fatally shot on Tarlton Avenue on his way home from school on Feb. 12. Two boys, aged 14 and 16, have been charged with his fatal shooting.
Janaria Mohammed, a 15-year-old schoolgirl in Austin East, was found shot dead in front of her home on February 16.
Jamarion “Lil Dada” Gillette, 15, died after being shot on March 9. A woman found him injured on the Cherokee Trail in South Knoxville, near the University of Tennessee Medical Center, and took the teenager to that hospital. He died there early on March 10.
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