Austin-East High School in Knoxville, Tennessee
Photo: Wade Payne / dpa
In an exchange of fire in a school in Knoxville, Tennessee, a student was killed by a police bullet on Monday.
The Tennessee Criminal Investigation Department (TBI) announced on Monday evening (local time) that police officers had been called to Austin-East High School over reports of a possibly armed person in a toilet facility.
When the security forces entered the facility, the suspect fired shots and shot a police officer.
One of the police officers returned fire and fatally hit him.
The injured policeman was taken to a hospital.
"The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene and identified as a student at the Austin-East School," said the director of the investigation committee, David Rausch, at a press conference on Monday evening (local time).
In the first police reports it had been said that there was information about several gunshot victims.
The exact background of the crime remains unclear and the investigation into the case is ongoing.
In the United States, there are repeated fatal firearms attacks in schools.
In February 2018, for example, a 19-year-old boy opened fire at his previous school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people.
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Just last week, US President Joe Biden called gun violence in the United States a "plague" and an "eyesore" for the country.
He presented several ordinances to curb gun violence.
Stricter rules are to be enacted for so-called ghost weapons, which can be assembled by the users themselves and have no serial numbers.
New specifications should also apply to upgraded pistols.
At the same time, Biden called on Congress to take further measures by law.
Among other things, the president demands a ban on the sale of assault rifles and more extensive background checks for gun buyers.
However, it is highly uncertain whether a majority will be found in Congress.
Attempts by the Democrats to tighten gun laws have repeatedly failed over the past few decades.
The powerful gun lobby NRA has many allies in Congress, especially among the Republicans.
Tennessee recently allowed the carrying of pistols without a permit
On the same day, however, the gun law in Republican-led Tennessee was defused: From July, most adults there no longer need a special gun license to carry pistols concealed or openly.
Republican Governor Bill Lee had said that it should not be difficult for law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutionally protected right to carry a weapon.
The law he signed last week allows most citizens who are at least 21 years old and legally in possession of their handguns in public without further authorization.
According to the local newspaper Tennessean, security leaders opposed the relaxation of gun laws.
However, the change in the law does not apply to larger weapons such as rifles.
The new regulation also tightened the maximum prison sentence for the theft of certain weapons from 30 days to 180 days.
In the United States, some of the 50 states allow weapons to be carried openly or covertly without the need for special permits or training.
cop / dpa / AFP