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Knoxville School Resource Officer Was Shot In Bathroom Gunfight With High School Student

Knoxville, TX – The teenage boy killed at Austin-East Magnet High School on Monday afternoon was a student who opened fire on police officers inside a school bathroom.

The incident occurred at about 3:15 p.m. on April 12 after Knoxville police responded to the arts high school for a report of a student holed up in a restroom with a gun, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Director David Rausch said that the student started shooting as soon as officers entered the bathroom.

Director Rausch said one officer was struck by gunfire and officers returned fire, the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The armed student was killed in the exchange.

A source told the Knoxville News Sentinel that the wounded officer was the Austin-East school resource officer and he was shot in the hip.

The officer was transported to University of Tennessee Medical Center and taken into surgery.

The school was put into lockdown and students who were already outside the buildings were directed to the baseball field to meet up with their parents, WVLT reported.

A school board member was the first to confirm that the dead person was an Austin-East student, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

“We had an officer who was shot. He’s in the hospital recovering. We have a student that is deceased,” Knox County School Board member Evetty Satterfield announced to a crowd gathered outside the school after the incident.

Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas told reporters on Monday night the wounded officer was in serious condition.

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

“It’s a sad day, for Knoxville, in our community and our police department.”

Officials have not said who shot the student, WVLT reported.

Police detained another student at the scene who was a witness.

On Tuesday morning, the Knoxville Police Department (KPD) identified the wounded officer as KPD School Resource Officer Adam Willson, a 20-year veteran of the police force, WATE reported.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon told reporters that she visited Officer Willson at the hospital late Monday and the wounded hero was “conscious and in good spirits.”

Multiple law enforcement agencies including TBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) responded to the scene to assist after the shootings.

TBI will be heading up the investigation into the officer-involved shooting, WATE reported.

Austin-East Magnet High School was in the news in February after three students were fatally shot in a period of three weeks.

Those shootings did not happen at campus and administrators at the time told the Knoxville News Sentinel they felt their arts magnet school was a safe place.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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