Monday's officer-involved shooting at a Knoxville high school remains under investigation
KNOXVILLE, TN - A high school in Knoxville, Tennessee is not holding classes for the next two days after its campus became the scene of a deadly exchange of gunfire between local members of law enforcement and a student on Monday.
The shooting resulted in the death of the armed student, the injury of a police officer, and the emotional scarring of Austin-East Magnet High School's students, faculty, and staff.
CNN reports that Superintendent Bob Thomas updated the public on the incident during a Monday, April 12 news conference Monday.
"We are all devastated by this tragedy," he said, adding that a decision about the rest of the week's classes will be made later.
The shooting took place earlier that afternoon when officers responded to a call of a potentially armed person.
Upon arriving at the school they discovered that the person was a male who had barricaded himself in the school bathroom.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) Director David Rausch said officers ordered him to come out, but he refused and fired at them, prompting one officer to return fire.
The gunman, a student whose name has not been released, died at the scene, according to Rausch.
CNN says the injured officer is conscious and appears to be on the road to a smooth recovery.
Rausch also told reporters that the shooting is still under investigation and the incident is not officially classified as a "school shooting," but as an "officer-involved shooting at a school."
"It's our worst fear, an active shooter in a school," Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas said during the news conference.
Officer Involved Shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School At around 3:15 p.m. on Monday, April 12, 2021, multiple...Posted by Knoxville Police Department - TN on Monday, April 12, 2021
The incident is not the first shooting that's impacted Austin-East Magnet High School's students.
Knoxville Fire Department Capt. D.J. Corcoran told CNN reporters that within the last few months, four of the school's students were killed in incidents of gun violence.
The institution is labeled as a 'Title 1 school,' meaning it's a federally funded school that has a high number or high percentage of children from low-income families.
The school's website says it has "a performing arts focus that offers resources including visual arts, CTE and rigorous academic courses."
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