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Student Dead, Officer Injured After Gunfire Erupts At High School In Knoxville, Tennessee

student dead, officer injured after gunfire erupts at high school in knoxville, tennessee
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Police shot a student dead in Tennessee after he allegedly opened fire on them, wounding an officer.

According to Knoxville police, the shooting happened after officers responded to a report of an armed person at Austin-East Magnet High School.

According to David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Two officers found the armed person in a school bathroom, and he was later identified as a student.

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"He reportedly fired shots, striking an officer," Rausch said to reporters. "One officer returned fire."

The officer was shot at least once in the leg and had to stay at a local hospital in serious condition, Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas said.

Neither the officer nor the student was identified, and it was unclear whether the high schooler planned to use his gun inside the school.

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Rausch said that the student hadn't fired the gun until police officers "engaged" him. He added that another person, likely a witness, had been detained by local authorities for further investigation.

The school was under lockdown following the shooting, and any parents who were there to pick up their children were sent to the rear entrance instead. Afterward, however, police used a baseball field as a reunification site for parents and their children.

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One mother who was separated from her daughter told reporters that she was relieved when she received a text message from the girl saying that she was safe.

Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas, who said that the incident was "tragic", stated that the school had been secured and that they released the students who weren't involved.

Both state and federal authorities were involved, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. In a news conference about returning to in-school learning, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee asked everyone to pray for the innocent victims and their families.

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NBC affiliate WBIR reported that multiple of the high school's students had been killed this year due to gunshots, but none of them were shot to death inside the school.

On their official Twitter page, Knox County Schools announced that no classes would be held at Austin-East on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is worth mentioning that the Monday on which the incident happened was the first day of "National Youth Violence Prevention Week" in Knoxville, which is a campaign that seeks to blunt violence among the youth.

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"This is a tough way to start a week that you're focusing on trying to keep people safe," Rausch said.