Officials have released bodycam footage showing the shooting death of 17-year-old Austin-East Magnet High School student Anthony Thompson Jr. in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Knox County District Attorney’s Office said no charges would be filed in the shooting.
Police were called to the school at about 3:15 p.m. Monday, April 12, after the report of a male possibly armed with a gun, according to the Knoxville Police Department. The officers involved were Officer Jonathon Clabough, who officials said shot Thompson and Willson, Officer Adam Willson, who was shot, Lieutenant Stanley Cash, and Officer Brian Baldwin. Officials said Clabough was justified in the shooting during a press conference.
Officials also released video from the shooting, which you can watch here or later in this post. Be forewarned that it is extremely graphic.
Here’s what you need to know:
Officials Said Clabough Fired the Shot That Killed Thompson & Injured Willson But Determined the Shooting Was Justified
Bodycam footage of Thompson’s shooting was released at the close of the investigation into his death, following a public outcry to release the footage. The family also saw the footage of the fatal shooting of the teen before it was released.
“I have just spent four hours with this family and I will tell you that was a painful long agonizing four hours for that family, but we talked about the death of their 17-year-old son, and one thing that family asked me not to do was release those tapes today, but because I had made a promise that once I completed the file and once I talked to the family I would release the tapes,” said District Attorney Charme Allen during a press conference.
Autopsy results indicated the bullet entered Thompson’s upper left body, traveled through both lungs and through the bottom of his heart. Thompson could not have been saved no matter how quickly medical aid was rendered, due to the severity of his injuries, Allen said.
Thompson’s Family Reacted to the Video’s Release & Said They Think the Shooting Was Not Justified
Thompson’s family reacted tearfully to the release of the footage, and said they do not think the shooting was justified during a press conference.
“I speak on behalf of my family today with a broken heart and spirit. We wanted the public to see that tape. We asked Allen out of respect for my nephew not to release it til we bury my nephew tomorrow. We wanted y’all to see how they’re treating our boys. Our young black men in this community. Enough is enough,” said Angela Elder, Thompson’s aunt.
“It hurts us down to the pit of our heart,” she continued.
The officers involved with the shooting also released a joint statement to WBIR.
“We appreciate the hard work of the Office of the Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation incoming to a prompt resolution of this tragic incident. We believe in the importance of public trust and accountability. We look forward to returning to our duties and continuing to serve the city of Knoxville once again.”