x
Breaking News
More () »

Knoxville Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WBIR.com

Here's what KPD personnel files reveal about the four officers involved in Austin-East HS shooting

The four KPD officers are all on temporary administrative leave.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Police Department released the names of the four officers involved in Monday's shooting inside Austin-East Magnet High School.

10News obtained each of the officers' personnel files on Friday through an open records request.

Here is what we know so far about Officer Adam Willson, Lieutenant Stanley Cash, Officer Jonathon Clabough and Officer Brian Baldwin.

RELATED: KPD releases names of officers involved in Austin-East Magnet HS shooting; placed on temporary administrative leave

Officer Adam Willson

Officer Adam Willson, who was wounded in the shooting, has been with KPD since January 2001 and was currently serving as the School Resource Officer at Austin-East Magnet High School. 

According to his personnel file, he is a veteran of the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged after serving with Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division from 1992 to 1996.

Willson began training in 2000, eventually becoming a certified officer in 2001. When he signed up, Willson said he wanted to serve because he liked to help people.

Through his career, Willson's performance has been noted as being commendable and exceptional -- praising him for his street smarts and safety-mindedness.

Willson's file said he was verbally reprimanded four times over nearly 20 years, two times involving vehicle crashes that his supervisors said he was at fault while responding to a service call and while heading home after a shift. 

One reprimand shortly after he began serving was for failing to sign an arrest warrant at the end of his shift, and the other was for a failure to turn on his in-car recording equipment.

In 2008, Willson was recommended for officer of the year for his and another officer's persistence during a response in a domestic violence call that saved the life of a woman.

Willson served as a firearms instructor later in his career, often appearing in informational videos on the department's social media pages. It was in that role he came on a newscast at WBIR in 2016 to talk about kids and gun safety.

"It's not evil, it's not good, it's just a tool and if we can be frank with our children and say, 'This can be very dangerous, it can take a life and here's how it works,' then you take that curiosity away," Willson said during that interview in 2016.

No stranger to the camera, Willson also appeared on the Discovery show "Homicide Hunters."

He has served as a School Resource Officer for several years at multiple schools, including West High School, Fulton High School, Bearden, Vine Middle School, Career Magnet and most recently Austin-East High School.

Willson is a father and man of faith, listed online as a deacon at South Knoxville Church of Christ. He tied for Officer of the Month in May of 2005.

According to a KPD spokesperson, Willson was released from UT Medical Center on Friday, April 16.

RELATED: KPD officer continues to recover in hospital after Austin-East shooting

Lieutenant Stanley Cash

The Knoxville Police Department hired on Lieutenant Stanley Cash in October 2001. Since then, he has taken on various roles in the department.

In 2018, Cash was assigned to the Internal Affairs Unit. Previously, he worked in patrol and as a property crimes investigator.

Born and raised in East Knoxville, a feature on Cash posted to the department's Facebook page in 2018 said, "He wanted to become an officer so he could help his community be safe and not fear the police." Cash went to Fulton High School.

Cash's performance was rated highly -- receiving several commendable and exceptional ratings through the years. In October 2008, he was awarded Officer of the Month.

His supervisors said Cash was always eager to challenge himself with investigations.

Cash received a few reprimands during his career. His file said he was verbally reprimanded in 2007 for unnecessary force as a result of an incident while on patrol, with findings sustaining the complaint. The incident was reported on September 10, 2006.

According to KPD's Internal Affairs Unit, on September 10, 2006, Officer Cash approached an individual walking in the Lonsdale community. Cash said he recognized the individual as someone he had stopped earlier in the week. Cash also added that "him being in that high crime area he felt there was a need for him to inquire why he was in that area". Cash said he attempted to do a pat-down but the individual became very nervous. The investigation showed that Cash decided to handcuff the individual for safety. As Cash got one hand cuffed, the individual fled on foot from Cash. Officers Charles Lyons and J. Ascencio assisted Cash in the foot pursuit and apprehended the individual. The individual was then walked back to a police vehicle by officers Cash and Lyons.

The investigation also showed that as officers Cash and Lyons walked the individual back to the police vehicle, Lt. Mark Fortner arrived on the scene and "noticed what he felt was unnecessary force being used by Officer Lyons when he observed Officer Lyons grab the suspect by the head area". The individual was handcuffed behind his back at that time and Cash had a hold on him. According to Lt. Fortner, "the suspect was being mouthy but not resisting at the time that he was grabbed in the head area". Lt. Fortner told officers to just walk him to the police car. Lt. Fortner said that once the officers arrived at the police vehicle with the individual, "he saw Officer Cash forcefully place the suspect on the hood of the vehicle, two times". Cash said that "he was angry when he placed him on the car the second time and used a little more force than he probably should have used."

Lyons said "he grabbed the individual by his ear because he was resisting and turning away from Cash as he walked", but the video shows that the individual was cuffed behind his back and did not appear to be resisting, according to an investigation. The investigation also added that "when the officers arrived at the patrol vehicle with the suspect there was no need for Officer Cash to forcefully place him on the hood of that vehicle since he was not resisting". 

The events were supported by the officer's in-car video equipment, and officials said the video does not show what took place on the side of the vehicle prior to Cash placing the individual on the hood.

Other reprimands included preventable vehicle crashes he was found at fault at, including one that saw his drive-home privileges suspended for 30 days in 2004.

Cash's file contained several thank you notes for various activities, including helping with evaluations and going on AAA Safety Patrol trips.

In his most recent performance review, Cash received the highest marks in nearly all areas with nearly a perfect score -- saying he brought an abundance of knowledge to the East District and excelled at filling in as the East District Executive Officer.

Cash appeared in WBIR's "Black and Blue" series in June 2020, to discuss what it's been like for him as an officer of color and father during a time of social unrest.

"It is a tough job," Cash said in 2020. "It's even harder when you are a minority, but you're needed. You feel, when you're a Black officer, you're always in this middle area because when you're on duty, you're supposed to represent everybody in the Black community to everybody in this profession."

RELATED: Black & Blue: Life on the front lines with KPD's Black officers

Officer Jonathon Clabough

Officer Jonathon Clabough has been with KPD since February 2017 and was one of five officers chosen as "Officer of the Month" in December 2020.

He was also a 2019 Finalist for the Officer Liaison of the Year award through the City of Knoxville Office of Neighborhoods.

His performance as an officer has been rated as commendable and excellent through his career, and he recently received a promotion in December.

When he signed up as a recruit in 2016, Clabough said he considered himself an advocate for his community, particularly for the children of Knoxville based on his experience as a teaching assistant and minister.

Clabough is a husband, father and pastor at East Avenue House of Prayer. He was raised in the South Knoxville community of Vestal.

Officer Brian Baldwin

Officer Brian Baldwin has been with the Knoxville Police Department since October 2004. Baldwin is a K-9 Officer at KPD and has had two different K-9 companions in his time at the department.

In his file, Baldwin is described as hardworking, dependable and professional. His performance was routinely rated as commendable and excellent, and he was nominated as officer of the month for January 2020.

Baldwin was verbally reprimanded for a few incidents during his career, once for failing to turn on his in-car camera to and from work during Boomsday and UT Football in 2005, and another 2009 violation of pursuit policy for continuing a traffic violation pursuit while calling it in to a secondary channel. 

As of 2018, Baldwin started working with K-9 "Mod" in the East District. Previously, he worked with K-9 "Beny."

In 2016, Baldwin and Beny helped find an elderly woman who was missing in South Knoxville. WBIR interviewed Baldwin after the discovery.

RELATED: KPD: K9 officer and partner find missing woman