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One dead in Tennessee school shooting

Sheriff: Teacher wrestled gun from 15-year-old suspect

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Tennessee

JACKSBORO, Tennessee (CNN) -- A high school student opened fire Tuesday afternoon on a principal and two assistant principals, killing one of the men before a teacher wrestled his weapon away, the sheriff said.

The 15-year-old suspect was taken into custody, authorities said.

No students were injured, and Campbell County Comprehensive High School in Jacksboro, Tennessee, was locked down immediately after the shootings, said Judy Blevens, director of county schools. About 1,400 students are enrolled in the school. (Watch a report from the scene -- 2:26)

Campbell County Sheriff Ron McClellan identified the slain assistant principal as Ken Bruce, 48.

McClellan, who was at Bruce's side when he died, said it's not clear how many times the assistant principal was shot, but it appears the suspect used a small-caliber handgun, perhaps a .22.

Two other victims -- Principal Gary Seale and Assistant Principal Jim Pierce, who also is a track coach -- were airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Pierce was in critical condition and Seale was in serious condition, hospital spokeswoman Lisa McNeal said Tuesday afternoon.

The student suspect allegedly slipped a gun under a napkin and fired at the administrators in a common area, CNN affiliate WATE reported.

Bruce was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in LaFollette, about five miles away. The suspect also was taken there for treatment of a gunshot wound to his right hand. He was seen hours later -- wearing glasses and a blood-spattered yellow shirt -- leaving the hospital and getting into a sheriff's vehicle.

He was taken to a juvenile facility in neighboring Scott County. Police already have taken statements from the suspect and were piecing together a motive Tuesday evening, McClellan said.

"I have no information firsthand of what type of motive or what would cause this individual to do this," McClellan told WATE, adding that the student's father had arrived at St. Mary's with a lawyer.

CNN affiliate WBIR interviewed a longtime friend of one of the administrators who said "everybody's very sad" and "in disbelief" after the attack.

One pupil described Bruce as someone who always lent a willing ear to the students. "He was a nice guy. If you went to talk to him about any problems you had, he'd be a person who would listen," said student Nathan Lawson.

As word of the shooting spread, a throng of concerned parents gathered outside the school. Authorities tried to assure them the students were OK and that dozens of police and deputies had secured the scene.

Buses and vehicles eventually were allowed onto campus to pick up students.

Jacksboro, a town of about 2,000 people, is in northeast Tennessee near the Kentucky border. It's about 35 miles northwest of Knoxville.

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