(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) — One person is dead and a police officer injured after an officer-involved shooting at a high school in Knoxville, Tennessee, police reported Monday.
Knoxville Police Department officers responded to Austin-East Magnet High School in northeast Knoxville after reports of a male subject who was “possibly armed in the school,” police said.
When officers arrived, they found the unidentified suspect, who was a student at the school, in a bathroom and ordered him out, but he refused to comply, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is overseeing the investigation.
“As officers entered the restroom, the subject reportedly fired shots, striking an officer,” TBI said in a statement.
“The student hadn’t done anything with the firearm until the officers engaged,” TBI director David Rausch said in a news conference Monday evening.
One officer returned fire, striking the suspect, the TBI said. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, Rausch told reporters.
The wounded officer was shot at least once and was transported to the UT Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
The officer who was shot is in “good spirits” and said he’d “rather this happen to him than someone else,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon told ABC affiliate WATE-TV in Knoxville after visiting the officer’s bedside at the hospital.
There are no other known gunshot victims, according to Rausch.
Although one person was detained for questioning, Rausch said as of Monday night there were no arrests.
Several agencies, including the Nashville field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were on the scene to help with the investigation.
Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas said in a tweet the school has been “secured” and that the students “who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families.” Authorities are still gathering more information about the “tragic situation,” he said.
Rausch said investigators are going through surveillance camera footage to get more information on the incident. He added that the officers were wearing body cameras.
“It’s a sad day,” he said. “These are the days you don’t want to get this phone call.”
Investigators didn’t immediately reveal what type of gun the suspect used.
The investigation is ongoing.
Gun laws in Tennessee have been in the spotlight after Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill last week that would allow most adults 21 and older to carry handguns — either open carry or concealed carry — without a permit, background check or training.
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