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Person shot in head near Austin-East homecoming football game identified

A suspect is at large after a man was shot in the head, disrupting the Austin-East homecoming football game while officers responded blocks from stadium.
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 9:35 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2021 at 2:45 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Austin-East Magnet High School’s homecoming football game against Northview Academy was disrupted Friday night after a reported shots fired call in the East Knoxville area, Knoxville Police Department officials confirmed to WVLT News.

Players and students were sent off of the field following the incident and were seen taking shelter. Shortly after, students returned to the field and finished the game.

Officers responded to the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Hembree Street just before 9 p.m. after the call came in, an incident report said.

Upon arrival, officers found Desmond Hatchett Jr.,19, with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the head. Hatchett was later transferred to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

As of Monday, Hatchett remains hospitalized for treatment and observation, officials said.

KPD officers placed police tape around an out-of-business laundromat located near the school that had a white SUV in the parking lot. The police tape was removed and someone drove the SUV away after the scene was cleared.

Officers do not have any suspect information at this time, officials said. The shooting is not suspected to be connected to the game or the school in anyway.

The KPD Violent Crimes Unit is investigating the shooting.

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