Mother: Girl, boyfriend fought before Tenn. school shooting

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Knoxville police work the scene of a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School Monday, April 12, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A Tennessee woman said she called police about a physical fight involving her daughter and the girl's boyfriend before he was fatally shot by officers in a high school bathroom.

Regina Perkins said she called police last Monday on 17-year-old as Anthony J. Thompson Jr., the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

Police said Thompson had a gun inside Austin-East Magnet High School in east Knoxville later Monday and was shot to death in a confrontation with officers in a bathroom.

Perkins said Thompson and her daughter, a junior, had dated for nine months. The girl called Perkins from an assistant principal’s office earlier Monday, saying she was upset and wanted to leave school early. Perkins said she allowed her to sign out and go home, where the girl indicated she and Thompson got into a scuffle during an argument.

Perkins said she tried without success to reach Thompson's mother before calling police. An officer came to her home to take a statement. Perkins said she also exchanged text messages with Thompson, telling him that an officer would be coming to the school.

“Anthony was aware that I had called the police and made a report,” Perkins said.

Not long after that, Perkins said she saw a helicopter above the school and learned that the school was on lockdown. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said police responded to a report of a possible gunman about 15 minutes before the school's 3:30 p.m. dismissal.

Perkins said she now wishes she had never called police.