Resource officer shot at Tennessee high school recovering

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Knoxville police work the scene of a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School Monday, April 12, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

A police officer wounded in a shooting at a Tennessee high school is a 20-year veteran of the force who worked at the school, authorities said Tuesday.

Knoxville Police Officer Adam Willson was recovering from surgery after being shot in the upper leg at Austin-East Magnet High School on Monday, the department said on Twitter. The school was closed Tuesday and will be closed Wednesday as a state police investigation unfolds.

Willson, a school resource officer, was wounded when a student opened fire on officers responding to a report of a possible gunman at the school about 15 minutes before its 3:30 p.m. dismissal, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David B. Rausch said at a news conference late Monday.

Police found the student in a bathroom and ordered him to come out, but he wouldn’t comply, Rausch said. That’s when the student reportedly opened fire, Rausch said. Police fired back, killing the student, who has not been identified, Rausch said.

Willson is expected to recover and no one else was hurt.

It wasn’t yet clear why the student brought a gun to school or why he fired at officers. It was also not clear if Willson was the officer who shot the student.

“We are grateful for the well wishes,” Knoxville police said in the tweet identifying Willson.

The shooting is the latest blow to a community still reeling from off-campus gun violence that has left three other students from the high school dead this year. Faith leaders organized a prayer meeting Tuesday in Knoxville, which is about 180 miles (290 kilometers) east of Nashville, to discuss gun violence.