A teenager was fatally shot and a police officer wounded in a shooting Monday afternoon at a Knoxville, Tenn. high school, according to authorities and reports.
The full circumstances of the gunplay weren’t immediately clear, but cops rushed to Austin-East Magnet High School around 3:15 p.m. answering a call about someone who was possibly armed, the Knoxville Police Department said in a statement.
When they approached the suspect, shots rang out, officials said.
A KPD officer suffered a non-life-threatening injury, while a male teen was killed, according to authorities and The Knoxville News Sentinel.
The police statement added that a second individual was detained at the scene.
The statement did not make clear who shot whom, nor did it identify any of the three individuals by name or detail how the deceased and the detainee were connected to the school and each other.
The harrowing incident prompted a controlled evacuation and drew a massive emergency response in a community already on edge from a spate of recent gun deaths connected to the school.
“Multiple agencies are on the scene of a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School,” the Knoxville Police Department tweeted just after 3:50 p.m. Monday. “Multiple gunshot victims reported, including a KPD officer.”
Less than an hour later, The News Sentinel reported that one person had been detained and that there was no longer an active shooter situation, citing a source.
The source added that the officer shot was an Austin-East school resource officer.
The KPD’s tweet warned people to avoid the area of the school amid an ongoing investigation.
It included a photo showing an ambulance and what appeared to be multiple police vehicles outside the school.
But it did not provide further details, including exactly how many people were shot, their conditions, or the circumstances of the shooting.
The department added in a subsequent tweet that a family reunification site was established at a baseball field behind the school.
Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas later told local CBS affiliate WVLT that those students unconnected to the violence had been safely evacuated.
“The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families,” he said.
Local NBC affiliate WBIR reported that four teens who were current or former students at the school have been killed in shootings in recent months, stoking community fears of further violence.
Police have said that there is no evidence to suggest that those four slayings are connected to each other, according to The Knoxville News Sentinel.
Among the authorities responding to the shooting Monday afternoon were representatives of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Nashville field office, according to their Twitter account.
Knoxville Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie was also among those officials rushing to the scene Monday afternoon.
“I’m walking up to the scene now,” McKenzie told local CBS affiliate WVLT when reached by phone. “All I can say is pray.”