JACKSBORO (WATE) — An assistant principal is dead and two other administrators wounded following a shooting Tuesday afternoon at Campbell County Comprehensive High School.
Authorities say a student walked into the school cafeteria around 2:00 p.m. hiding a .22-calibre hand gun under a napkin, then allegedly opened fire on the three men.
Assistant principal Ken Bruce was killed. Principal Gary Seale was wounded but managed to tackle the student and the boy was taken into custody.
Another assistant principal, Jim Pierce, was shot in the chest.
They were flown by Lifestar helicopters to UT Medical Center, where, as of 11:00 p.m., they were both listed in serious condition.
According to Gail Parks, the administrative assistant for the director of schools, no students were hurt in the incident.
Student suspect in custody
The suspect is identified as Kenny Bartley, 15. He was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in LaFollette with an injury to his hand. After receiving treatment he was then taken to an undisclosed detention center.
He was reportedly scheduled to appear before a judge Wednesday, but that will not happen because a new judge must be found.
The boy is the son of Ken Bartley, owner of Ken’s Pioneer Arcade, one of the businesses raided last week by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for running a video poker operation.
Students and teachers describe the boy as troubled, and until recently, attended an alternative school.
Investigators have not yet been able to determine a motive for the shooting.
Immediately after the shooting, despite being badly wounded, Seale announced over the public address system the school was under a lock down.
Under the lock down, parents and others were not allowed to enter or leave the building.
At normal dismissal time the students were escorted out to waiting buses or to the custody of their parents.
Jacksboro Police, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, LaFollette Police and other area emergency services responded to the scene.
The high school is in the middle of Campbell County near two tightly-knit communities, Jacksboro and LaFollette. Enrollment at the school is about 1,400.
School to remain closed
Late Tuesday school officials said Campbell County High School will remain closed for the rest of the week.
Counselors will be available at the school for any student who needs help. The counselors will be at LaFollette and Jacksboro middle schools from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Second shooting death
The shooting death was the second in Tennessee this year involving a school employee.
Stewart County school bus driver Joyce Gregory, 47, was killed as she stopped to pick up a student on her route on March 1.
Jason Clinard, 15, is charged with murder in that case and will be tried as an adult.
6 News reporters Don Dare, Amelia Graham, Adam Longo, Melissa DiPane and Jeff Lennox contributed to this report. Portions also contributed by The Associated Press. Copyright 2005, all rights reserved.