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15-year-old Austin East student killed in overnight shooting reported missing in October

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 9:12 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 4:41 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Officials with the Knoxville Police Department are investigating after a 15-year-old was killed in an overnight shooting.

Police said the victim was a student at Austin-East High School. The teen identified as 15-year-old Jamarion Gillette was reported missing out of Crossville in October. The teen was in DCS custody and reported missing by DCS, according to KPD Police Chief Eve Thomas. The victim was still listed as a missing runaway at the time of his death.

According to KPD, officers responded to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where a teen arrived with a gunshot wound around 11:22 p.m. The teen was transported to the hospital by an unidentified female. Police said the female was interviewed and at this time believed to be a stranger to the victim.

Police were advised around 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, Gillette had died as a result of the injuries sustained during the shooting.

Authorities said they are unaware, at this time, where the shooting took place. The investigation is in the preliminary stages.

Knoxville Police said there were multiple shots fired calls reported Tuesday night, including at the 811 East Downtown Apartments. Police said there was evidence of a shooting at the apartments, but no victims or suspects directly related to the incident have been identified.

The shooting marks the fourth Austin-East High student killed in 2021. The string of violence prompted city leaders to hold a press conference in February where they promised increased KPD patrols in the area around the school. Police said there is no indication at this time that there is any relation between the victims.

KPD said the investigation remains very active and fluid.

“We are still working to piece this together,” Thomas said.

Knoxville Police said they were made aware of a hit list a few weeks ago and made an effort to investigate the matter. Chief Thomas said after investigating the list is believed to be a “social media spat” but officers made contact with individuals and family members associated with the list. Thomas said there is no evidence of a valid threat associated with the list at this time.

Chief Thomas said there is no evidence that the incident is gang-related at this time, but they are looking into every possibility.

Chief Thomas said they are unable to increase patrol further in the Austin-East area because they “have no more capacity to do anymore.” Knoxville Police have already issued mandatory overtime for officers.

“We will not rest until those who have committed these violent crimes are arrested,” Thomas said.

Knox Co. Mayor Glenn Jacobs released a statement Wednesday regarding the recent violent crimes in the community. “Like the rest of the community, I am angry and frustrated. I am at a loss for words to share my sympathy with another family who has lost a child. This violence must stop.”

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is urged to call the KPD Crime and Drug Hotline at 865-215-7212. Tips can be submitted anonymously.

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