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Shooter Killed at Tennessee High School Identified as Student: Police

Brittany Jordan

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An armed student has died in a shooting with police on Monday after he opened fired at an officer responding to a call for help at the Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced.

Initial reports of the incident established that one person had died and an officer was injured, but had yet to identify the person as a student of the high school. The student has not been named.

“It’s a sad day for Knoxville, and it’s tough for Austin-East,” TBI Director David B. Rausch, a former Knoxville police chief, told reporters.

The student died at the scene and the officer was wounded in the upper leg and taken into surgery at a local hospital, authorities said at a press conference late Monday. No one else was hurt.

Knoxville police work the scene of a shooting at Austin East High School in Knoxville, Tenn., on April 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

The TBI announced in a release that the Knoxville Police Department received a report around 3:15 p.m. of an armed person at the high school. Police officers found the person inside a restroom, and the person refused to comply after being ordered to come out.

The person fired shots and hit an officer as the officers entered the restroom, police said. One officer shot back and fatally wounded the armed subject.

“The subject was pronounced dead at the scene and has since been identified as a student. The officer who was shot was transported to a local hospital for treatment,” the announcement reads.

“The TBI does not identify the officers involved in these types of incidents and, instead, refer questions of that nature to their respective department to answer as it sees fit.”

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon told WATE-TV earlier in the day that she spoke with the wounded officer and that he was conscious and in good spirits.

Gov. Bill Lee mentioned the shooting at a news conference following the incident.

“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 affected by that in our state,” he said.

Lee said on Twitter late Monday, “A tragic situation unfolded at Austin-East Magnet High School today. We mourn the loss of life and commend law enforcement for their rapid response. We offer our full support to @TBI as they investigate this situation further.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Brittany Jordan is an award-winning journalist who reports on breaking news in the U.S. and globally for the Federal Inquirer. Prior to her position at the Federal Inquirer, she was a general assignment features reporter for Newsweek, where she wrote about technology, politics, government news and important global events around the world. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Toronto Star, Frederick News-Post, West Hawaii Today, the Miami Herald, and more. Brittany enjoys food, travel, photography, and hoarding notebooks and journals. Her goal is to do more longform features journalism, narrative writing and documentary work, and to one day write a successful novel and screenplay.

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