KPD asks for help from community to solve death of 16-year-old

Stanley Freeman Jr., 16, was shot and killed Feb. 12, 2021.

Investigators are continuing the search for the person or persons responsible for the shooting death of a 16-year-old Austin East High School student.

“Now more than ever, we need to band together as a community,” Knoxville Chief of Police Eve Thomas said, in a press release. “These senseless acts of violence cannot and should not be tolerated under any circumstances, and we all must work towards the common goal of holding the individuals who perpetuate this type of violence accountable for their actions.”

Knoxville Police Department investigators are continuing to seek information regarding the shooting of Stanley Freeman Jr. The boy was shot Friday as he was leaving school on his way to work at McDonald’s.

Police said he did not appear to be the intended target.

Investigators said surveillance video near the scene revealed that there were numerous individuals, most of which appear to be fellow Austin-East students, who likely witnessed all or some of the shooting.

Authorities said no witnesses have come forward with information.

Investigators request that any student, parent or community member with information that is possibly relevant to the investigation contact the Knoxville Police Department by phone at 865-215-7212 or email at

The KPD also encourages parents of Austin-East students to speak with their kids about what they might have witnessed or know about the shooting. Tips can be made anonymously.

No arrests have been made and no suspects have been charged in connection to the shooting.

“I urge anyone who might have information that can assist our investigative efforts to come forward and talk to someone, whether that be our investigators, a trusted community member or school administrator,” Thomas said.