Sixth Austin-East Magnet High School student shot, killed in Knoxville
East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers have received at least five tips following incident.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knoxville Police Department officers responded to a reported shooting at Lonsdale Homes Apartments early Sunday morning, which resulted in the death of a 17-year-old and sent two others to the hospital.
Family of the victim identified him as Jon’quelan Mathis, a student of Austin-East Magnet High School. Friends told WVLT News’ Gwendolyn Ducre Mathis was “quite the comedian” and “had a contagious smile.” They said he was well-liked by many.
The shooting is the 29th homicide in Knoxville this year, officials with KPD said.
Officials with the Knoxville Police Department said investigators are continuing to seek information regarding the fatal shooting Monday afternoon.
Investigators determined there was a large gathering of people in the area of Minnesota Avenue and Pascal Drive around 1 a.m. when a fight reportedly broke out and shots were fired.
“Investigators have determined that a crowd numbering in the hundreds was gathered when the shooting occurred and a significant number of those individuals likely directly witnessed the shooting,” Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “Thus far, we have received five tips through Crime Stoppers and investigators are looking into the information that has been received. But we still need more and are again urging those who were present to come forward and submit a tip anonymously. It is imperative as we seek justice for this senseless act of violence.”
According to police, the group quickly dispersed before officers arrived on the scene. Officers on the scene said they found three victims suffering from gunshot wounds around Lot D of the complex, including Mathis, who later died at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
The other two people have serious but not life-threatening injuries, KPD officials said. They identified the two victims injured in the shooting as Tricia Fisher, 29, and Anthony Taylor, 25.
Investigators conducted a neighborhood canvas on Monday morning in search of additional evidence and witnesses.
“Investigators have knowledge that there were likely numerous witnesses to the shooting based on the number of individuals present at the time of the incident,” KPD said in a statement.
Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas said Monday morning “You know, we’re just at a loss for words at this point, but our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family, relatives, and friends. I don’t know what to say anymore, I mean the gun violence we’ve just got to find a solution because this is such a tragic thing for students to lose their life and promising careers, futures and so forth so just so heartbroken over another loss of one of our students.”
Austin-East’s football account also referenced the loss of a young man, asking for prayers from the community.
KPD and Police Chief Eve Thomas will begin providing extra security around campus, according to KPD officials. Officials said the extra security was planned before the shooting happened. Police plan to continue providing extra security for several weeks.
There is no suspect at this time, officials said. Anyone with information is asked to contact East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.easttnvalleycrimestoppers.org
This is an ongoing investigation.
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