Student, gunman dead at Oregon high school


by Natalie DiBlasio and John Bacon, USA TODAY

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 10 at 2:18 PM

TROUTDALE, Ore. -- A male student was fatally shot and the gunman was found dead at an Oregon high school Tuesday, authorities said.

SWAT teams descended on Reynolds High School after receiving a report of a shooting, Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson said. He said a room-by-room search was underway at the school outside Portland. Anderson did not say how the gunman died.

"This is a very tragic day, one that I had hoped would never ever be part of my experience," Schools Superintendent Linda Florence said. "We feel very sorry for our parents."

She said the students were "absolutely wonderful" at evacuating the building. Teary reunions were underway as parents were reunited with their kids at a parking lot near the school.

Sue Strickland, police records specialist for the Troutdale police, told USA TODAY the shooter was a male teen. She could not confirm whether he was a student at the school.

"We are still checking the building," Strickland said. "We have about 40-50 units out there. We have several SWAT teams in the building right now and they are checking to make sure that they've got things under control. A semi-automatic weapon was used."

KREM 2's sister station KGW-TV reported that two students at the shooting scene claimed more than one person had a gun, and one was stripped of a weapon after a search and taken into custody. Police said a second gun was found during the evacuation of the building, but did not appear to be related.

Police said the gunman used a rifle according to KGW. One teacher was treated for non life-threatening injuries at the scene.

The shooting took place just as the school day was beginning, officials said. The school year had been scheduled to end Wednesday.

Freshman Morgan Rose, 15, said she hunkered down in a locker room with another student and two teachers.

"It was scary in the moment. Now knowing everything's OK I'm better," she said.

Reynolds track coach Todd Rispler told KGW-TV he was grazed on the hip but was not seriously hurt.

Freshman Daniel DeLong, 15, said he saw a physical education teacher at the school with a bloodied shirt.

"I'm a little shaken up," DeLong said. "I'm just worried."

He said he was texting friends to make sure they were all OK.

"It just, like, happened so fast, you know?" he said.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber issued a statement of condolence for the school community. "My heart is heavy after learning of this morning's tragic events at Reynolds High School," the statement said. "Today Oregon hurts as we try to make sense of a senseless act of violence. Please keep students, staff, the extended Reynolds community and first responders in your thoughts and prayers."

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are heading to Reynolds High School to assist in the investigation, the ATF said on its Twitter feed.

The school, which includes grades 9-12, has more than 2,800 students. Troutdale, an eastern suburb of Portland, is home to about 16,000 people.

Contributing: Kevin Johnson, Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY; Associated Press