1 dead in shooting after Tennessee high school graduation

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — One person was killed and another injured in a shooting after a high school graduation at Middle Tennessee State University, according to police.

Police confirmed the shooting Wednesday night after the Riverdale High School graduation at Murphy Center, an on-campus arena, WTVF-TV reported. The injured victim was hospitalized in critical condition. It was not immediately known if the victims were students.

Riverdale’s commencement ceremony for 450 seniors started at 7 p.m. and had ended and people were leaving by the time the shooting had taken place.

“Tonight’s shooting at MTSU is a tragedy,” Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dan Goodwin said. “We mourn with the family who lost a loved one and the victim injured.”

He said that police found two people suffering from gunshots near the tennis courts.

“We are asking for the public’s patience. We are at ground zero on this investigation,” Goodwin said.

The Murfreesboro Police Department said Thursday that a person of interest had been identified and detectives were in the process of locating him.

Rutherford County Schools spokesperson James Evans said the school, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Nashville, would be closed on Thursday as a precaution.

Rutherford County School Board members held a moment of silence Thursday morning while meeting to interview three candidates for director of schools. Board member Claire Maxwell read a statement, WTVF reported.

“My heart is breaking for the victims of last night’s tragic ending to Riverdale graduation. What should have been the greatest night of their young lives instead turned into everyone’s worst nightmare. My thoughts and prayers go out to the young life lost and his family and my prayers are also extended to the other young man critically injured," she said.