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Tenn. Kid Shot Dead by Police Didn't Fire Bullet That Hit Cop

Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, didn't injure cop in confrontation at Knoxville high school: TBI
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2021 6:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – After a student was fatally shot at a Tennessee high school on Monday during an altercation with police, authorities initially said the teen had fired upon and wounded a school resource officer. Now, a revised story from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which in a Wednesday statement identified the student as 17-year-old Anthony J. Thompson Jr. and said his bullet wasn't the one that injured Adam Willson, a 20-year veteran of the Knoxville Police Department, per the PD. "During investigations, agents discover facts that may clarify initial reports," the TBI noted in its statement, per the New York Times. The bureau says that the confrontation Monday afternoon began after Knoxville police received a report of a student who possibly had a gun at Austin-East Magnet High School. Officers arrived on the scene and encountered Anthony in one of the school's bathrooms, where a struggle ensued, Anthony's gun was fired, and two bullets were fired at him, per the TBI.

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The Knoxville News Sentinel notes the TBI's statement "did not offer much more clarity," including whether one or two officers fired at Anthony, or how many bullets hit Anthony and where. It also didn't specify whether Willson was hit with his own bullet or one from another officer. Willson underwent surgery on Tuesday and is expected to recover, reports WBIR, which notes the "tremendous amount of loss" the community has experienced as a result of gun violence in recent months. Four other teens, all current or former Austin-East students, have been shot and killed outside of school since January. Following Anthony's death, the high school is closed through Monday, opening for virtual learning on Tuesday and in-person classes on Wednesday. Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, meanwhile, is pushing for police bodycam footage to be released, which so far District Attorney General Charme Allen has declined to do. (Read more Tennessee stories.)

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