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Police killed Tennessee student failed to shoot officer, officials say

A student who was fatally shot in a confrontation with police Monday at a high school in Knoxville, Tennessee, did not fire the bullet that hit an injured officer, authorities said Wednesday.

The disclosure by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation contradicted its previous claims that the officer was shot by the Austin-East Magnet high school student.

The office said on Wednesday the student’s gun was fired in a fight with officers. “Preliminary examinations indicate that the bullet that hit the KPD officer was not fired from the student’s handgun,” the office said in a statement.

Investigators declined to say whether the bullet that hit the officer in the leg came from his own pistol or from another officer’s weapon.

The office identified the student on Wednesday as Anthony J. Thompson Jr., a 17-year-old black student at the school who has been plagued by gun violence this year.

The injured officer, identified by the Knoxville Police Department as Adam willson, a school resources officer in high school and a 20-year veteran of the force, is expected to recover.

“During investigations, officers uncover facts that may clarify the initial reports,” the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement Wednesday. “This is why our agency uses terms such as ‘preliminary’, ‘maybe’ and ‘apparently’ in our versions.”

A spokesperson for the Knoxville Police Department declined to comment on Wednesday evening, saying it would not be appropriate until the office and district attorney general complete their review of the case.

The office, headed by David B. Rausch, former Knoxville police chief, presides over all investigations into shootings involving officers in Tennessee.

He said the deadly encounter began Monday afternoon when Knoxville police received a report that a student may have been armed with a gun. When officers confronted Anthony in the toilet, a fight ensued and his gun was fired, according to the office, which said two bullets were fired at him.

It was not immediately clear which of the officers fired the shots at the teenager or how many bullets hit him. Efforts to reunite with his family on Wednesday evening were not immediately successful.

A spokeswoman for the office referred further questions to the Knox District Attorney General’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday evening.

Charme P. Allen, the district attorney general, was pressured by people like Indya Kincannon, the mayor of Knoxville, to post body camera footage of officers involved in the encounter.

“I hear and feel the frustration, pain and anguish as we tackle the tragic shooting inside Austin-East High School,” Ms. Kincannon said Wednesday. Twitter. “I support the release of all incident videos to the media and the public as soon as it is legally permitted.”

Ms Kincannon said there were complications in releasing the body camera images because they were taken inside a school and involved a minor. She said Ms Allen had refused requests to make the images public.

“General Allen explained that she took this decision in order to maintain the integrity of the ongoing investigation and to protect the constitutional rights of anyone who may be charged as a result of this investigation,” she said. . “I will continue to push for transparency and communication as this investigation continues.”

At the time of Monday’s shooting, Austin-East High School was still reeling from the fatal shootings of four students since January, The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported.

In late January, a 15-year-old student died after another teenager accidentally shot him in a car, the newspaper reported, citing police information. A 17-year-old was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide in the shooting, the newspaper reported.

On February 12, a 16-year-old student was shot and killed while driving home from school, the newspaper reported. Two boys, aged 14 and 16, were arrested and charged with his death, The News-Sentinel said.

Four days later, on February 16, a 15-year-old girl was found gunned down outside her home and was later pronounced dead in a hospital, The News-Sentinel reported.

And on March 10, another 15-year-old student died in a hospital a day after being found shot and wounded in south Knoxville.

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