Austin East going virtual for grieving students

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Austin East Magnet High School will go online for four days to help those students who may be grieving due to a classmate being shot and killed last week.

Knox County schools said in a social media post that counselors will be available for students who may need support.

The decision to move to online learning comes after 16-year-old Stanley Freeman Jr. was shot while leaving school Friday in his car. Police first responded to shots fired and later found out that there was a car crash blocks away. They arrived to find Freeman with a gun wound.

Emergency personnel tried to save the boy’s life, but were unsuccesful.

The Knoxville Police Department said he did not appear to be the intended target. There are also no suspects at this time.

KPD said a press release Monday that there were several eyewitnesses who appeared to be fellow students nearby who saw the events unfold. They are asking for anyone with information to contact them.

Austin East will go back to in-class learning on Feb. 22.