School shooting kills several, including a police officer

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Several people were shot on Monday at a high school in Knoxville, a city in the US state of Tennessee, police said.

“Officers from the Knoxville Police Department were dispatched to Austin-East Magnet High School after a suspected armed man was reported in the facility,” police said on Twittter.

“Shots were fired as they approached the suspect,” she detailed, adding that a police officer had been shot but his life was probably not in danger.

A man died on the spot, while another was taken into custody “for further investigation”, the authorities add. They do not specify whether the deceased is one of the suspects.

The mayor of the city, Indya Kincannon, told the local press that she spoke with the affected policeman who “is aware” and “remains positive”.

A site for families to reunite has been opened in a baseball stadium adjacent to the high school, officials said in the city of 180,000 inhabitants in the south of the country.

“The school has been secured and the students who were not affected by the incident have been placed with their families,” school district official Bob Thomas said in a tweet.

Bill Lee, the governor of Tennessee who had a few days earlier strengthened the rights of gun owners in his state, deplored a “tragic and very difficult” situation.

School shootings have been a recurring scourge in the United States since the massacre in Columbine, Colorado, in April 1999.

Denouncing the “epidemic” of gun violence, President Joe Biden last week unveiled targeted measures to limit the proliferation of guns in the United States.

The state of Tennessee, renowned for being the cradle of country music, is bordered by the Appalachian Mountains.