Update: Teacher suspected in shooting of principals wasn't getting renewed

12:24 PM, Feb 11, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Teacher/shooting suspect covers face walking by media

Video: Update on victims

Video: Principal, assistant principal shot at Inskip

Video: Police on school shooting

Video: Raw video: Shooting at Inskip Elementary

Video: Inskip Elementary student reacts

  • Shooting suspect Mark Foster hides his face while exiting the Safety Building after his arrest on 2/10/2010
  • Amy Brace, assistant principal shot at Inskip Elementary
  • Elisa Luna, Principal shot at Inskip Elementary
  • Mark Foster, suspected of shooting a principal and assistant principal at Inskip Elementary
  • Mark Foster

Foster's background

Mark Foster works in Knox County Schools but lives in Clinton. Neighbors to his mobile home expressed shock that he'd be a suspect in this shooting.

But he does have a list of past complaints against him with the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.

-A neighbor filed a report saying he was driving erratically, on multiple occasions, to harass her. She indicated she'd seek an order of protection against him.

-A complaint from his brother indicated he was walking down the road, causing a disturbance by yelling at people as he walked. Another complaint from his brother resulted in is brother taking out an order of protection against him.

-A complaint from a hair stylist indicated Foster had contacted her residence and shop, making threats over a bad haircut.

-Police reports indicated he was known to carry a handgun and a baseball bat, and that he did not have a permit to carry a gun.

The sheriff's office's files including Mark Foster also have several entries in which Foster is the one making a complaint, including a suspicious person at his home, the theft of a chainsaw from his home, and threats made against him by others.

You can read the Sheriff's Office files in a linked document on wbir.com. (Entries are ordered by date.)

The Associated Press is also reporting that Foster made threats on a former boss's life, after being laid off from Oak Ridge Tool Engineering in the 1990s. CEO Terry Mullins told the AP Foster made an attempt on his life.

The AP also has word from Foster's brother indicating the two haven't talked in about four years. In 2009, his brother sought and was granted an order of protection against Mark Foster.

Related Links
  • Foster's history of reports with the Anderson County Sheriff's Office (See sidebar above)
  • A principal and assistant principal have been shot at Inskip Elementary School, and a teacher is now in custody as the suspect.

    Superintendent Jim McIntyre has now confirmed that it was the schools' intent not to have 4th grade teacher Mark Stephen Foster back in the classroom next year. At this point, there's no official confirmation that news he was being let go was a motive for the shooting.

    Mark Stephen Foster, 48, is the man in custody in connection with the shooting. Foster, of Clinton, has been charged with two counts of Attempted First Degree Murder. Foster teaches 4th grade.

    McIntyre said it is the schools' understanding that Foster was in the classroom, teaching today, before the schools let out early for snow.

    McIntyre said he's been able to speak with Assistant Principal Amy Brace, who was last listed in stable condition. McIntyre said she appears to be in good spirits, and that she was joking around with McIntyre and teasing him a bit, as she often does.

    McIntyre was not able to speak with Principal Elisa Luna, who is in critical condition.

    However, McIntyre said the number of teachers and well-wishers present at the hospital is a testament to the atmosphere of caring that Luna and Brace helped create at Inskip Elementary.

    Elisa Luna and Amy Brace were both shot in the office area just before 1:00 p.m.

    Police Chief Sterling Owen IV expressed optimism Wednesday afternoon that both would survive their injuries and said their families were at the hospital with them.

    Luna has been principal at Inskip Elementary since January 2004. Before that, she was the assistant principal at Sarah Moore Greene.

    Brace has been assistant principal at Inskip Elementary since 2008. Before that, she was the magnet lead educator at Sarah Moore Greene Magnet.

    KPD spokesman Darrell DeBusk said those two female employees were alert and conscious when they were taken to UT Medical Center.

    They were shot in the office area of the school.

    Police originally got the call at 12:49 p.m.

    Police previously confirmed the man taken into custody is an employee at the school. Police said that means he was authorized to be in the building.

    Foster was arrested a short distance away at Central and Aurora.

    Two students were in the school at the time of the shooting, Knox County Schools said. They were in the process of being picked up by their parents.

    Classes are canceled at Inskip Elementary for the remainder of the week.

    Staff members will meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Inskip Baptist Church. Also at Inskip Baptist, the school will have counselors available for students, parents, and others affected, from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

    Counselors will again be available there on Friday, from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

    No scheduled events will take place at the school for the remainder of the week.

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