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Sandy Hook Promise Statement on the Officer-Involved Shooting at a Knoxville High School

Newtown, CT — Yesterday, a student at Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tennessee was fatally shot and an officer was injured after the teen fired at officers responding to a report of a gun in the school. While the details surrounding this tragedy are still being investigated, this is the fifth student killed by guns in the Knoxville community since February, stoking heightened fear and anxiety and strengthening demands for action on gun violence prevention.

In response to this tragedy, Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy issued the following statement:

“Our hearts break for the families involved in this tragedy and a community already traumatized by increasing gun violence. The excruciating pain of having a child ripped away by a preventable death is one no parent or community should ever have to endure. We appreciate that the Knoxville City Council is investing in violence prevention with partners like Cities United and we stand by ready to help. This is an important step forward, and many more are needed to help the community and students.” 


About Sandy Hook Promise

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children. Through its life-saving, evidence-informed Know the Signs prevention programs, SHP educates and empowers youth and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or at risk of hurting themselves or others. Through nonpartisan policy and partnerships, SHP advances gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education at the state and federal levels that protect all children from gun violence in their schools, homes, and communities. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Learn more at

Media Contact: 

Aimee Thunberg | [email protected] | 646-761-5579