One person was killed and a police officer wounded in a shooting at a high school in the US state of Tennessee on Monday, police said.
Knoxville city police said on Twitter “multiple gunshot victims” had been reported at Austin-East Magnet High School, before adding in a statement read out on local television that one of the injured had died.
Officers had responded to reports of a “male subject” who was possibly armed in the school, the Knoxville Police Department said.
“Upon approach of the subject, shots were fired. A KPD officer was struck at least one time and transported to UT medical centre with injuries that are not expected to be life threatening,” the statement said.
— Knoxville Police TN (@Knoxville_PD) April 12, 2021
“One male was pronounced deceased at the scene while another was detained for further investigation. There are no other known gunshot victims.”
City authorities instructed families to gather at a baseball stadium near the school.
“The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families,” tweeted Bob Thomas, the Knox County schools superintendent.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon visited the wounded officer in hospital and told reporters outside that he was conscious and in good spirits.
“He’s going to be okay. And I thanked him for putting his life on the line to protect the students and staff at the school,” said the mayor.
“And he said he’d rather that he be hurt than anybody else, and is in very good spirits and looking forward to the successful surgery.”
The United States has been plagued by school shootings since the massacre at Columbine, in the state of Colorado, in April 1999.
“My message is that we all need to work together to stop the violence,” Kincannon added.
“We’re working together… with parents, with the school system, with community based organisations, we all need to work on this together.”
Monday’s shooting in Tennessee comes on the heels of President Joe Biden unveiling proposals to expand gun control.
Biden branded gun violence an “epidemic” and an “international embarrassment” during his April 8 speech.