Church Hill, Tenn
A call about an active shooter inside a Tennessee high school prompted a major response from area law enforcement agencies Tuesday morning, but a sheriff’s office says no suspect was found and no shooting injuries have been reported.
At least five agencies responded after someone called the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office just after 8 a.m. on the second day of classes, saying there was an active shooter inside Volunteer High School in Church Hill, a sheriff’s statement said.
The statement said deputies responded immediately and began searching, and the investigation continues.
The school evacuated all the students, marching them in lines with their hands over their heads to school buses, and they were taken to an armory to be reunited with their parents, said the county’s director of schools, Matt Hixson. Other schools locked down temporarily as a precaution.
Hixson said the search would likely continue through the end of the school day, but he expects classes to resume Wednesday morning.
“We’ve been through COVID and a lot of closure and our intent is to keep students in school and keep them learning,” he said.
WVLT-TV in Knoxville reported that officials with Hawkins County EMS Ambulance Services confirmed multiple ambulances were at the school and that several patients were transported from the scene.
The report didn’t provide any details on their injuries. WVLT later reported that the injuries appeared to be unrelated to a shooting.
Video broadcast by media outlets showed a large police presence at the school, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) east of Knoxville in Hawkins County.
Hawkins County Schools said on its website that Volunteer High students were evacuated in school buses to a National Guard Armory to be picked up by their parents.
“There has been an emergency situation at Volunteer High School,” the school’s statement said. “Our major concern at this time is for the safety of our students and staff; please stay clear of the area to allow law enforcement and emergency personnel access to the area.”
Other schools in the county also were placed on a temporary lockdown that was later lifted, the statement said.
No further details were immediately released ahead of a news conference planned by the sheriff’s office.—AP