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KPD officer discharged from hospital after Austin-East shooting

KPD said Officer Adam Willson was shot in an officer-involved shooting Monday at Austin-East Magnet High School.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — UPDATE APRIL 19: Knoxville Police Officer Adam Willson was discharged from the hospital late Friday afternoon, according to Knoxville Police Department.

Officials said he is continuing to recover from his injuries and remains in good spirits. His family is grateful for the well wishes, thoughts and prayers and asked for their privacy at this time.


Knoxville Police Officer Adam Willson remains in the hospital Wednesday, recovering from surgery after he was shot Monday at Austin-East Magnet High School.

A 20-year veteran of the department, Willson has worn a lot of hats for KPD, including helping out with informational videos like this one from 2019.

He has also served as a firearms instructor.

It was in that role he came on WBIR newscast 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,' and you take that curiosity away," he said in that interview.

Comfortable in front of the camera, Willson has been featured on the Discovery show 'Homicide Hunter.'

The star of that show, Carl Marino, posted on Facebook that Willson is one of his best friends.

"We are very thankful he is alive and hope for a speedy recovery," he wrote.

He also included this local address where fans can send cards to Willson:

5-0 Talent, P.O. Box 70252, Knoxville TN 37938

Willson is a father and man of faith, listed online as a deacon at South Knoxville Church of Christ.

Coworkers said he's well liked at the department. He tied for 'Officer of the Month in May of 2005.

Willson has been a school resource officer for several years, serving at several campuses.

He is currently the SRO at Austin-East Magnet High School.

After receiving the report of a student possibly armed with a gun on Monday, responding KPD officers, including Willson, located the student, identified as Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, inside a school restroom at Austin-East.

The TBI said during a subsequent struggle, the student’s gun was fired. This was followed by law enforcement firing twice.

The TBI reports "preliminary examinations indicate the bullet that struck the KPD officer was not fired from the student’s handgun."

Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck by gunfire, while Willson is still recovering at the hospital.

The shooting remains under investigation.


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