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Student gunman killed, police officer injured at Knoxville school shooting

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    KNOXVILLE, TN (WSMV) — A student that opened fire in a Tennessee high school is dead and a Knoxville Police officer injured after an officer-involved shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School on Monday.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to an officer-involved shooting around 3:15 p.m. EDT.

According to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David B. Rausch, police found the student in a bathroom at the high school.

Orders to the student to exit were given, however, the student reportedly opened fire before police returned the gunfire, striking and killing the student.

A Knoxville Police officer was struck at least one time and taken to a Knoxville hospital with injuries not expected to be life-threatening.

It is unclear at this time why the student had brought a gun to school or why they opened fire on officers.

A separate man was taken into custody for further investigation of the event.

Police said there are no other known gunshot victims at the school.

Per Knoxville Police protocol for officer-involved shootings, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will lead the investigation.

Knox County School Superintendent Bob Thomas said the school is secure in a social media post.

“Knox County Schools is responding to a shooting that occurred this afternoon at Austin-East Magnet High School. We are gathering information about this tragic situation and will provide additional information as soon as possible,” Thomas said. “The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families.”

The school was placed on a hard lockdown after the shooting.

School officials said there would be no school at Austin-East on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Knoxville Police said a reunification site has been set up at the baseball field behind the school.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said during a press conference that he had been told about the shooting.

“I want to acknowledge a very difficult and tragic situation we have happening across the state right now in Knoxville at Austin-East Magnet High School. I’ve just been informed of that recently. We don’t have a lot of details, it’s a current situation right now. Law enforcement will update us appropriately,” Lee said before beginning a press conference focused on education. “If for some reason I step out of this, that’s what that will be for or we have limited time after. I just wanted to make reference to that and ask for you all to, 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.”

Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said the department stands ready to provide support to Knox County Schools.

“As details continue to emerge, our thoughts are with every member of the school community in Knoxville who is dealing with the immediate impacts of the shooting that took place this afternoon,” Schwinn said in the statement. “The department stands ready to provide support. It is time to wrap arms around the affected students, educators, school staff, their families, and the entire community, to support them through this horrific tragedy.”

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said she was heartbroken about the shooting.

“I am heartbroken to hear about the shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville,” Blackburn said. “My office has been briefed on the situation and I am praying for the community, including the officer injured in the line of duty.”

Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty said his heart goes out to Austin-East.

“After hearing about the shooting, my heart goes out to Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville,” Hagerty said in his statement. “My staff and I continue to monitor the situation, and will provide any assistance necessary. Chrissy and I are praying for the students, families and the officer injured.”

Congressman Mark Green posted a statement about the shooting on social media.

“Camie and I join Tennesseans in prayer for the injured, the students and faculty of Austin-East Magnet High School, and the entire Knoxville community,” Green said in the statement. “We are heartbroken by this situation, and lift the families and loved ones of those impacted up in prayer.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the ATF Nashville Field Division are sending agents to assist in the investigation.

WBIR reports four teens who currently or used to attend Austin-East have been killed by gun violence in the past few months, sparking community concern and calls to action.

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