1 dead in shooting at Tennessee high school

By Veronica Rocha, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT) April 13, 2021
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8:36 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Knoxville Fire Department says it trained for incidents like today's shooting

From CNN's Kay Jones

The Knoxville Fire Department says that they have trained for incidents like the one today at a local high school. 

Knoxville Fire Capt. D.J. Corcoran told CNN in an email that the department has trained with the Knoxville Police Department 's SWAT team for incidents like today's shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School.

"Unfortunately that training was used today when responding to Austin East high school," Corcoran said in the email. "As far as our response to the incident, it was a successful one."

He said this is the fifth fatality surrounding the high school in the last few months and the community is "devastated."

"Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased and to the officer and his family. Please pray for our community," he said.

8:30 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Suspect in shooting at Knoxville high school is dead, authorities say

From CNN's Kay Jones

David B. Rausch, Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
David B. Rausch, Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Source: WVLT

The suspect in today's shooting at a high school in Knoxville was killed during an exchange of gunfire, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Monday night.

Knoxville Police received a report of a person who was possibly armed with a gun at 3:15 p.m. at Austin-East Magnet High School, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said. When officers arrived, he said they found the person in a restroom on campus.

Officers ordered him to exit the restroom, but he said the suspect refused to come out.

When they entered the restroom, Rausch said the suspect fired shots, striking an officer. At least one officer returned fire, killing the suspect who was later identified as a student, he said.

The student, whose identity was not released, died at the scene, Rausch said.

The injured officer was shot once in the leg and transported to a local hospital for treatment, Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas said during the news conference. 

"It's our worst fear, an active shooter in a school," Thomas said. 

Rausch, the TBI director, said this is not a "school shooting," rather it is an "officer involved shooting inside of a school."

"It's important to make that distinction," he said.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will continue its investigation into the shooting, he said, adding that any findings will be shared with the local district attorney.

6:52 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will provide an update tonight on the shooting

From CNN's Kay Jones

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will hold a news conference tonight to providen an update on the investigation into the shooting at a Knoxville high school today. 

The agency said it is "gathering information and conducting interviews."

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is the leading the investigation into the shooting.

6:47 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Austin-East Magnet High School will be closed for two days

From CNN's Kay Jones

Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, will be closed the next two days, according to a tweet from Knox County Schools.

The school district said no classes will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

6:27 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Tennessee senator says she's "heartbroken" over shooting

From CNN's Deanna Hackney

Sen. Marsha Blackburn leaves after a Senate Republican luncheon at Russell Senate Office Building March 24 on Capitol Hill in Washington. 
Sen. Marsha Blackburn leaves after a Senate Republican luncheon at Russell Senate Office Building March 24 on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Alex Wong/Getty Images

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said she is "heartbroken" over Monday's shooting at Austin-East Magnet High school in Knoxville.

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

6:07 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Knoxville mayor says officer injured in school shooting is "conscious" and "going to be okay"

From CNN's Jenn Selva

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, in pink, arrives at the scene of a shooting at Austin-East High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Monday, April 12.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, in pink, arrives at the scene of a shooting at Austin-East High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Monday, April 12. Calvin Mattheis/The Knoxville News-Sentinel/USA Today Network

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon says the officer injured in today’s shooting at Austin-East High School is "conscious" and "going to be okay."

Kincannon said she spoke to him and he was in good spirits.

“I thanked him for putting his life on the line to protect the students and staff at the school, and he said he’d rather he be hurt than anybody else,” the mayor said.

5:37 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Knoxville Police confirm one person is dead and one officer injured in today's shooting

From CNN's Kay Jones

Police monitor the area near Austin-East High on Monday following a shooting.
Police monitor the area near Austin-East High on Monday following a shooting. Brianna Paciorka/The Knoxville News-Sentinel/USA Today Network

Knoxville Police say that one person has died, one of their officers was injured and one person is in custody following a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School today.

In a statement posted to their Facebook page, police say that officers responded to a report of a "male subject who was possibly armed in the school."

When he was approached, they say shots were fired and a Knoxville Police officer was struck at least once. He is at UT Medical Center and his injuries are not "expected to be life-threatening," the post said.

One male was pronounced deceased at the scene, the post said. There are no other known gunshot victims.

Police said that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will lead the investigation.

 

5:01 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

What we know about Austin-East High School

Police surround the area near Austin-East High on Monday.
Police surround the area near Austin-East High on Monday. Brianna Paciorka/The Knoxville News-Sentinel/USA Today Network

The school where the shooting happened provides academic and arts classes to more than 640 students in East Knoxville, according to information from the school's website.

"Austin-East Magnet High School is committed to providing an outstanding education for more than 640 students in East Knoxville," the school said on its website.

The school is a Title 1 school, which is a federal program that provides financial assistance "schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families," according to the US education department.

"We are a Title I magnet high school with a performing arts focus that offers resources including visual arts, CTE and rigorous academic courses," Austin-East says on its website. "We also offer a variety of extracurricular activities ranging from sports to robotics."

The spring semester for Knox County Schools, Austin-East Magnet High School's district, began on Jan. 5. According to county policies, students could choose between in-person or virtual learning because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Students can utilize in-person, on-campus instruction with additional safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, or they can utilize our virtual learning program," the district said on its website.

5:38 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

"No active threat" at scene of school shooting, sheriff's say

From CNN's Kay Jones

There is "no active threat" at Austin-East High School, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, CNN affiliate WVLT reports. 

WVLT reported that Knox Sheriff spokesperson Kimberly Glenn said someone from the department is heading to the hospital to check on the injured police officer. 

Special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Nashville are on the scene of the shooting, the agency tweeted.

The agency said it will be assisting law enforcement at the scene.

Watch here:

Correction: An earlier version of this post included the incorrect call letters for CNN's Knoxville affiliate. It is CNN affiliate WVLT. The post also included the wrong name for the sheriff's office. It is the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.