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(Updated) Police report one dead, officer injured after shooting at Knoxville high school

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Vice mayor tells media, 'I'm walking up to the scene now, all I can say is pray'

Image source: WATE-TV video screenshot

Editor's note: This story has been updated to report the number and status of victims.

Police in Knoxville, Tennessee, say one person is dead and a Knoxville Police Department officer is injured after a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School.

What are the details?

The Knoxville Police Department tweeted Monday afternoon shortly before 4 p.m. EST, "Multiple agencies are on the scene of a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School. Multiple gunshot victims reported, including a KPD officer. The investigation remains active at this time. Please avoid the area."

"I'm walking up to the scene now, all I can say is pray," Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie told WVLT-TV.

Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas tweeted, "The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families."

In a statement issued later, the KPD said that "based on the preliminary investigation," officers responded to the scene after a report of a male subject "who was possibly armed at the school" and "upon approach of the subject, shots were fired."

The department added:

"A KPD officer was struck at least one time and transported to the UT Medical Center with injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening. One male was pronounced dead at the scene, while another was detained for further investigation. There are no other known gunshot victims."

The Associated Press reported that the male who was killed by police was a student at the school who was found in a bathroom with a firearm. When officers asked him to come out, he opened fire and officers responded in kind. The student was deceased at the scene.

The officer who was hit was struck "at least once in the upper leg."

A reporter from WATE-TV tweeted, "I just spoke to [Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon (D)] about the shooting in the Austin East Community she was at the bedside of the officer who was shot at the scene. She says he's in good spirit (sic) Mayor said the officer says he rather this happen to him than someone else."

The reporter added, "The officer is conscious and the mayor said his wife is with him at the hospital."

A source told the Knoxville News Sentinel that the injured officer was the school's resource officer.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation into the incident, as is protocol with officer-involved shootings. The ATF also responded to the scene.

Anything else?

The Sentinel reported that four Austin-East Magnet High School students have been fatally shot in 2021, "though officials have repeatedly said the violence is not associated with the school itself."

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