Photo Credit: Governor Bill Lee / Facebook
Published April 14, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and other state representatives have spoken out about the deadly Knoxville high school shooting that took place on Monday, April 12.
A student at Austin-East Magnet High School was fatally shot after opening fire on a police officer in the school’s bathroom. The officer was also injured on the scene. The incident is currently being investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
During a live press conference, Governor Lee asked for all Tennesseans to “pray for the situation and for the families and victims who might be affected.”
“A tragic situation unfolded at Austin-East Magnet High School today. We mourn the loss of life and commend law enforcement for their rapid response. We offer our full support to @TBI as they investigate this situation further,” Governor Lee said.
The Governor said he is being kept updated on the investigation as it unfolds.
“I am heartbroken to hear about the shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville. My office has been briefed on the situation and I am praying for the community, including the officer injured in the line of duty,” said U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs released a statement about the shooting, which said, “I am as troubled and frustrated about this as everyone else. I want to thank the officer for risking his life to protect everyone in the school and encourage everyone to remember how hard these last few months have been on our Austin-East families. I also want to reiterate that my office is committed to working with the city, KPD, KCSO and KCS to find solutions to these tragic situations.”
He also went to Twitter to say, “It’s been a tragic day at @AustinEastHS. Our prayers are with the victims, students, and staff.”
Mayor Kincannon also spoke out to praise the staff of Austin-East School for doing the work to protect their students. The mayor also showed support to the injured officer for risking his life.
“We all need to work together to stop the violence. It’s a big challenge and we’re going to need the whole city to work together,” Kincannon said.
However, the director of the TBI, David Rausch, said the officer engaged with the student first.
Rausch said, “This wasn’t a school shooting. This was an officer-involved shooting inside of a school.”
State Representative and Austin-East graduate, Sam McKenzie, also released a statement to address the incident.
The statement said, “I am at a loss to describe my sadness as yet another horrific act of gun violence has happened in my community. Austin-East High School is my alma mater and my heart goes out to the students, faculty and staff that were present for the senseless shooting today. I do not have the necessary words to convey my thoughts about the spiraling violent acts conducted by members of my community on members of my community. I am asking everyone that knows and loves East Knoxville to pray and contemplate the lives we have lost.”
Austin-East decided to close the school on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rausch said the rest of the week is to be used to help the community move forward by putting a focus on youth violence.
He said, “My prayer is the community will come together.”