Senin, 12 April 2021

Police officer, several others, injured in US school shooting -

A teenager has died and a police officer has suffered a gunshot wound after a shooting at a high school in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Police were called to Austin-East Magnet High School at around 3.15pm on Monday (local time) following reports of a male who was “possibly armed in the school”.

“Based on the preliminary investigation, Knoxville Police Department officers responded to Austin-East Magnet High School on the report of a male subject who was possibly armed in the school,” Knoxville Police Department said.

As police approached the subject, shots were fired.

One male was pronounced dead at the scene, with Knox News reporting the victim was a teenager.

A police officer was shot at least one time and was transported to UT Medical Center with injuries that are “not expected to be life-threatening”.

Another male was detained at the scene for further investigation.

The police said there were no other known gunshot victims.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said the officer who was injured in the shooting was “conscious” and was “going to be OK”.

“I thanked him for putting his life on the line to protect the students and staff at the school, and he said he’d rather he be hurt than anybody else,” the mayor said.

Earlier Superintendent of Knox County Schools, Bob Thomas, said he was gathering “additional information about this tragic situation” and updates will be provided as soon as possible.

“The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families,” he wrote on Twitter.

A reunification site was established on the baseball field behind the school where parents can go and pick up their children.

People have been urged to avoid the area.

Tennessee governor Bill Lee said the situation was “very difficult and tragic” but could not give further details.

Biden pushing for gun control

The 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

“Enough prayers,” Mr Biden said. “Time for some action.”

With Congress unable to agree on broad new regulations, like stricter background checks for gun buyers, Mr Biden announced six executive measures which he said would help bring the crisis under control.

Mr Biden’s six measures included a proposed rule to “stop proliferation of ghost guns,” as firearms built from home kits are known. The White House says these homemade weapons are especially of concern because they have no serial numbers and cannot be traced after being used in crimes.

Another proposed rule will be tightening regulations on arm braces designed to stabilise pistols, a device used by the man who killed 10 people in a Colorado grocery store last month. Under the rule, pistols with braces would be classified as short-barrelled rifles, putting them under stricter control.

Other measures include boosting support for agencies involved in tackling community violence and ordering the first comprehensive report on firearms trafficking in the United States since 2000.

Mr Biden said his proposals were just a start and urged Congress to take on far-reaching measures, like added background checks and ending the sale of powerful rifles often used in mass killings.

“I know that the conversation about guns in this country can be a difficult one. But even here, there is much more common ground than anyone would believe,” he said.

“The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as a nation.”

Despite Biden’s appeal, there is ferocious opposition to banning powerful weapons like the AR-15, a semiautomatic resembling the US military M16 rifle.

It has become notorious as both the tool of choice in many mass shootings and a hugely popular item for sports shooters and legal gun enthusiasts.

– With AFP

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2021-04-12 21:17:25Z

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