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Man charged with providing handgun to Austin-East student killed in officer-involved shooting

Officials said Foster admitted to purchasing the firearm and providing the firearm to Thompson Jr. in exchange for cash and marijuana.
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 12:40 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A man has been arrested and charged with providing a handgun to an Austin-East Student killed during an officer-involved shooting in April, according to Prosecutors in District Attorney General Charme Allen’s Office.

Kelvon Foster, 21, was charged with providing handguns to juveniles Friday morning.

According to a warrant, 17-year-old Anthony Thompson Jr., who was killed during a shooting incident at Austin-East High School, went to Harvey’s Pistol & Pawn on April 5.

At the pawnshop, Thompson allegedly met with Foster and viewed the handguns for sale before leaving the business. Officials said Foster then purchased the Glock Model 45 9mm handgun. Foster later met Thompson in a parking lot off Broadway in Knoxville and handed over the gun.

On April 12, Knoxville Police responded to Austin-East in an attempt to apprehend Thompson Jr. as a part of a domestic violence investigation. Upon arrival, officers located Thompson Jr. inside a school restroom. TBI officials said that officers ordered the student out, but he refused to comply.

According to TBI, a struggle ensued between officers and Thompson Jr., during which Thompson Jr.’s gun was fired. This was followed by law enforcement firing twice. Thompson Jr. was fatally shot during the incident.

Investigators determined the handgun Thompson Jr. had of possession of during the incident was the same gun purchased at Harvey’s Pistol & Pawn on April 5 by Foster.

Officials said Foster admitted to purchasing the firearm and providing the firearm to Thompson Jr. in exchange for cash and marijuana. According to the DA’s Office, Foster said he had known Thompson Jr. since he was 5-years-old and was friends with Thompson Jr.’s brother.

During the investigation, officials said two additional handguns were recovered from Foster.

Providing Handguns to Juveniles is a Class A misdemeanor carrying a punishment of up to eleven months and twenty-nine days. Foster has also been charged with Making False or Fictitious Statements in Connection with the Purchase of a Firearm.

Foster is scheduled for an arraignment in Knox County Felony Court on June 23.

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