A police officer who shot and killed a high school student in Knoxville, Tennessee, last Monday will not be charged, prosecutors said.
Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen said Officer Jonathon Clabough was justified and acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, at Austin-Magnet High School on April 12. During a Wednesday press conference, Allen released surveillance and body-camera footage showing Clabough firing two shots, killing Thompson and injuring another officer, Adam Willson, in the leg.
Four officers responded to a call of domestic abuse involving Thompson’s former girlfriend at the high school, according to NBC affiliate WBIR. Officers Clabough, Willson and two others can be seen in the body-camera footage entering the school’s bathroom. They located Thompson inside a stall and asked him to show his hands, according to the video.
The footage shows the officers trying to handcuff Thompson, who can be heard repeatedly saying, “My bad, my bad.” One officer grabs Thompson’s left hand, while his right hand remains in the front pocket of his hoodie, according to the video. Clabough said in a statement he could see the barrel of a gun pointing at him from inside the pocket.
A single shot fired from the gun hit a trash can but none of the officers, Allen said. It was unclear if the handgun fired accidentally.
After the first shot, Thompson can be heard repeatedly saying, “Wait, wait, wait.”
Clabough quickly draws his weapon and shoots Thompson in the upper chest, video shows. According to Allen, Clabough said in his statement that he saw Thompson fire the gun and believed one of his colleagues was shot when he stepped back.