One Dead, One Hurt in East Tennessee School Shooting

One male juvenile was killed and an officer with the Knoxville Police Department was wounded.

People gather outside Austin East High School in Knoxville, Tenn., as police work the scene following a shooting at the school Monday, April 12. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

(CN) — A shooting happened Monday inside a restroom of a high school in Knoxville, Tennessee, around 3:15 p.m., minutes before students typically dismiss for the day and when the community was starting to observe National Youth Violence Prevention Week.

The violence at the Austin-East Magnet High School left a student dead and an officer in surgery after being shot in the upper leg, law enforcement officials said Monday night.

While the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has begun its investigation into the incident — reviewing body camera footage and conducting interviews — it is carefully saying the incident is unlike the carnage that met the students at Sandy Hook, Columbine or Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

“This wasn’t a school shooting. This was an officer-involved shooting inside of a school,” said TBI Director David Rausch, who previously served as Knoxville’s police chief.

TBI typically investigates shootings involving officers in the state.

TBI said an officer with the Knoxville Police Department arrived at the school, responding to word there was an individual possibly armed with a gun.

The student, who was in the bathroom, did not come out when officers told him to leave it and when they entered, the student fired. The officers returned that fire.

“It was just very chilling first of all to hear we have an officer down and secondly that it was at a school,” said Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas.

The student was declared dead at the scene.

Police detained one person “for further investigation,” according to a Knoxville Police Department press release.

Bob Thomas, the superintendent of Knox County Schools, wrote in a series of tweets around 4:20 p.m. Eastern time the shooting happened at the Austin-East Magnet High School.

“The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families,” Thomas wrote.

Police had set up a reunification site at a baseball field.

Yellow police tape ran from telephone pole from telephone pole across one of the entrances of the low, brick building, according to the image the Knoxville Police Department shared on Twitter at 3:52 p.m.

Approximately 640 students attend the school.

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