Fatal Knoxville Shooting Was 'Not a School Shooting'

Rather, it was 'an officer-involved shooting inside of a school,' authorities say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2021 12:40 AM CDT
Updated Apr 13, 2021 6:58 AM CDT
'It's Not a School Shooting' in Knoxville, Authorities Say
Knoxville police work the scene of a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School Monday, April 12, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

The shooting at a Knoxville high school that left a teenage boy dead and a police officer injured Monday was "not a school shooting," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director said at a press conference. "This was an officer-involved shooting inside of a school. Much different," he said. "The student hadn’t done anything with the firearm until the officers engaged." Knoxville Police Department officers responded to a report of someone at Austin-East Magnet High School who might be armed, located the teen in a bathroom, and went in when he refused to come out. The boy then allegedly fired on them and police returned fire, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A source tells Knox News the wounded officer, who was hospitalized in serious condition and had surgery for a non-life-threatening leg injury, is the school resource officer. The source also says a witness was detained. No one involved has yet been publicly identified, WBIR reports. The school is closed Tuesday and Wednesday in response to the incident. Since January, four teens who attend or used to attend the school have been shot dead: A 15-year-old boy accidentally shot by a 17-year-old boy in January; a 16-year-old boy shot dead by two other teens while driving home from school in February; a 15-year-old girl found shot dead outside her home in February; and a 15-year-old boy who died after being found with a gunshot wound in March. (More Knoxville stories.)

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