Knoxville Police: One killed, officer injured in shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School

Posted at 3:27 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 22:54:52-04

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One person was killed and a Knoxville Police Department officer was injured in a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School.

Police officials say the officer was responding to a call of a male subject who was possibly armed in the school.

Per standard protocol for officer-involved shootings, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation.

TBI officials say KPD officers found the subject in a restroom. The officer ordered him out, but he didn't comply. When the officer entered the bathroom, the subject fired shots, hitting the officer. One officer returned fire, hitting the subject.

The subject, who was identified as an Austin-East student, was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer was hit in the upper leg and was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Another male was detained by officers. Police say no one else was injured.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon told WVLT that the officer injured in the shooting is not in grave danger and is conscious and talking at the hospital.

Shortly after the shooting, police set up a unification site at the baseball field behind Austin-East High School near Wilson and South Hembree for parents or family. Knoxville Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas released the following statement on Twitter.

"Knox County Schools is responding to a shooting that occurred this afternoon at Austin-East Magnet High School. We are gathering information about this tragic situation and will provide additional information as soon as possible...The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families."

Governor Lee was briefed on the shooting just before a scheduled announcement on in-person and virtual learning in Tennessee schools. He said he knew very few details but would be on his way for an in-person briefing soon.

Before making his announcement he addressed the breaking news of the shooting saying, "I just wanted to make reference to that and ask for those who are watching online or otherwise to pray for that situation and for the families and the victims that might be effected by that in our state."

The Tennessee Department of Education statement released the following statement:

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.