State Watch

1 dead, officer wounded in Tennessee high school shooting

A suspect in a police officer-involved shooting at a high school in Knoxville on Monday was identified as a student, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) announced on Monday.

An officer who arrived on scene at the school was shot at least once in the upper leg, and was later transported to a local hospital for treatment. The officer is in serious condition, according to TBI Director David B. Rausch.

Authorities responded Monday to the scene around 3:15 p.m. in response to a report of a possibly armed male at Austin-East Magnet High School, Rausch said. 

When the suspect refused to come out of a restroom, officers entered and then were met with gun fire. The suspect fired shots, striking an officer while another officer returned fire. The suspect, who was not identified by authorities other than being a student, was pronounced dead at the scene, Rausch said.

A man who Knoxville police earlier said had been detained was likely a witness, Rausch said.

Knox County Schools superintendent Bob Thomas tweeted that the “school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families.”

In a separate tweet, Thomas said the school is “gathering information about this tragic situation and will provide additional information as soon as possible.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Nashville field office confirmed in a tweet that special agents are responding to the shooting at the school.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said early Monday he has been informed of the “very difficult and tragic” situation, but had no further details.

Last week, Lee signed a bill that will allow people ages 21 and older to carry handguns openly or concealed without a permit, beginning July 1. The law, however, does not apply to long guns.

While details on the shooter and the weapon used are still unknown, Lee, at the time of the bill signing, wrote in a tweet, “I signed constitutional carry today because it shouldn’t be hard for law-abiding Tennesseans to exercise their #2A rights.”

Updated at 9:38 p.m.

Tags Gun control High school Knoxville Mass shooting Second Amendment Shooting Tennessee

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