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Knoxville police identify student killed after bringing gun to high school

The student killed Monday in an officer-involved shooting at a Knoxville high school has been identified and a bullet that hit the officer did not come from the student’s gun, authorities said.

The crime has identified the student at Austin-East High School as 17-year-old Anthony J. Thompson, Jr.

Austin-East High School and Officer Adam Wilson.

Austin-East High School and Officer Adam Wilson.
(AP/Knoxville Police)

The Knoxville Police Department responded to a report of someone possibly armed with a gun at the school around 3:15 p.m. on Monday.

Upon arrival, officers located the suspect in a restroom and ordered him to come out, but he refused to comply, TBI said in a press release.

Police respond to a shooting Monday at Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tenn. 

Police respond to a shooting Monday at Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tenn. 
(Reuters)

The officers entered the restroom, a struggle ensued, and the student’s gun was fired, TBI said. The officers fired twice. One of the KPD officers was hit by a bullet in the upper leg, but not from the student’s gun.

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The student died at the school, and the officer was taken into surgery, authorities said. The officer – who KPD identified as Adam Wilson, a 20-year veteran – had surgery Tuesday morning and was expected to recover. No one else was injured.

It wasn’t yet clear why the student brought a gun to school or why he fired at officers. An investigation by TBI is ongoing.

Knoxville police work the scene following a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tenn., Monday, April 12, 2021. 

Knoxville police work the scene following a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tenn., Monday, April 12, 2021. 
(AP)

The shooting comes as more classrooms are reopening to students after months of remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic, which cut down the number of mass killings in the U.S. The nation has seen series of mass shootings in recent weeks, including eight people killed at three Atlanta-area massage businesses on March 16 and 10 people killed at Colorado supermarket on March 22.

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Knox County Schools restarted in-person learning in August, but Austin-East Magnet High School went back to virtual instruction briefly in February after the spate of shooting deaths of students. The school was closed again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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