Reynolds High School in the middle-class Portland suburb of
Troutdale was immediately locked down, then evacuated room by room,
as law enforcement officials converged on the campus of 2,800
students, which had been set for its last day of classes on
Wednesday before the summer break.
"A gunman entered the high school this morning, shot one student.
Unfortunately, that student has died," Troutdale Police Chief Scott
Anderson told a news conference. "The gunman was located and the
gunman is also deceased."
Authorities identified the victim as 14-year-old high school
freshman Emilio Hoffman.
Gym teacher and track coach Todd Rispler was grazed by a bullet but
made his way to the school's office to initiate the lockdown,
possibly saving lives, Anderson said.
Authorities have not publicly named the gunman nor said how he died,
but USA Today cited a police spokesman as saying the shooter was a
teenager who shot himself to death in a bathroom stall following the
The violence in northern Oregon was the latest in a string of fatal
shootings in U.S. public places since May, including one at a
Christian college in neighboring Washington state last week in which
one student died.
President Barack Obama expressed deep frustration on Tuesday at the
inability of Washington lawmakers to tighten gun control measures in
the wake of U.S. shootings.
"The country has to do some soul searching about this. This is
becoming the norm and we take it for granted in ways that, as a
parent, are terrifying to me," Obama said.
'THIS IS NOT A DRILL'
Oregon lawmakers have been at a legislative impasse for about two
years over stricter gun control proposals.
Television footage at the Oregon school showed police officers in
helmets and tactical gear stepping from armored vehicles and running
near the school's perimeter with rifles. Students streamed out of
the school with hands raised.
A few miles from the school, students bused from the campus were
being reunited with anxious parents in the parking lot of a shopping
"I'm glad it wasn't worse," said Rachelle Rueschenberg, a mother
clutching her ninth-grade daughter, Maddy.
[to top of second column]
Two girls from the high school, sisters Kadejah and Deondra Nixon,
told Reuters after being reunited with their parents that police
were asking students whether anyone had ridden a bus to school with
a student carrying a guitar case. Kadejah Nixon said she did not
hear gunfire because the shooting was in a different wing of the
building, but recounted an announcement over the public address
system that urged students to go to the nearest classroom and close
"'This is not a drill, this is serious, get into a classroom,'" she
quoted the announcement as saying.
Police said during a search of the school after the shooting they
found a gun on another person, which they believed to be unrelated
to the violence. That person, who was not identified, was taken into
Several hundred students, parents, and community members gathered to
light candles and pray and sing songs at a vigil late on Tuesday
"Today, Oregon hurts as we try to make sense of a senseless act of
violence," Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, who attended, said in an
statement earlier in the day.
(Reporting by Shelby Sebens in Portland, Teresa Carson in Troutdale
and Steve Gorman and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Cynthia
Johnston and Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Peter Cooney, Jim Loney and
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