KNOXVILLE, TN — A student was killed in what the Knoxville, Tennessee, Police Department is now calling an officer-involved shooting at a high school.
Monday afternoon, the police department tweeted that multiple gunshot victims were reported at Austin-East Magnet High School, including one police officer. Multiple agencies responded to the scene. In an update shared via Facebook at 4:21 p.m. Monday, the police department said one person was killed, and a police officer was injured in the incident. "There are no other known gunshot victims," the police department said.
In the Facebook post, the police department said officers had responded to a report that a male who may have been armed was inside the school. The police department says when the officers approached the individual, shots were fired, and an officer was shot at least once.
The officer was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, and the police department said the officer's injuries are not expected to be life threatening. One male was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. and another was detained as part of the investigation. The ages and names of those individuals have not been released to the public.
Monday night, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the male who died at the scene has been identified as a student at the school. The TBI said the student was inside a bathroom in the school, and officers ordered him to come out. "But he refused to comply," the bureau said in a tweet. "As the officers entered the restroom, the subject reportedly fired shots, striking an officer. One officer returned fire."
"We have to be careful with our language," Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David B. Rausch said. "This wasn't a school shooting. This was an officer-involved shooting inside a school."
The subject was pronounced dead at the scene and has since been identified as a student.— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) April 13, 2021
The officer who was shot was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
The TBI took over the investigation into the shooting, because an officer was involved.
After the shooting, which happened around 2:15 p.m. CT (3:15 p.m. local time) school officials confirmed to Knoxville NBC affiliate WBIR-TV that the school was on lockdown. At 3:04 p.m. CT, the police department said a reunification site was established at the baseball field behind the school, for parents and guardians to reunite with their children.
Around 3:20 p.m. CT, Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas tweeted that the school was secured, and students who were not involved in the incident were released to their families.
The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families.— Bob Thomas (@KnoxSchoolsSupt) April 12, 2021
Gov. Bill Lee, during a scheduled briefing on education Monday afternoon, said he is closely monitoring the situation, and asked people to pray for all those involved and their loved ones.