Gunfire rocked an Oregon high school Tuesday morning, when a teen gunman bearing a rifle fatally shot another student, injured a teacher, and likely killed himself, police say.
Police have identified the shooter as a student but have not yet released a name, Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson told reporters during a televised press conference this afternoon.
Authorities are in the process of contacting the family members of the victim and the shooter. The injured teacher was treated at the scene and is in stable condition, Chief Anderson said.
The incident occurred just after 8 a.m. local time at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore., about 16 miles east of Portland along the Columbia River. Many of the school’s 2,800 students were already in the building and others had just arrived when shots rang out, prompting the faculty to initiate a lockdown.
One high school freshman, who identified herself by her first name, Elizabeth, told KATU, Portland’s local ABC affiliate, that she had been walking to school when she heard a loud bang.
“I was by the gym and I heard a shot. I wasn’t sure it was a shot, but I went to the main entrance and teachers were yelling, saying, ‘You have to get in, there’s a lockdown,’ ” Elizabeth told the local station. “I thought I was in a dream. I thought this only happened in movies. I was just shocked.”
Students remained locked down in classrooms while police secured the situation; many students texted with their parents.
Police officers methodically swept through the building to confirm that there was no additional threat. During that sweep, officers confiscated another firearm and made one arrest, but officials do not believe that individual or weapon were related to the shooting, Anderson said.
Throughout the morning, an orderly stream of students filed out of the building with their hands on their heads. Buses ferried the students to a nearby supermarket parking lot to meet their parents.
During the press conference, Reynolds School District Superintendent Linda Florence commended the faculty for activating emergency lockdown protocols “within seconds” of shots. She added that counselors would be on hand to help students process the ordeal and that the school would likely be closed for further investigation.
“This is a very tragic day, one that I had hoped would never ever be part of my experience,” Superintendent Florence said at an earlier press conference.
“You hear this in other cities but it’s hitting home here in Troutdale for the first time,” Troutdale Mayor Doug Daoust told The Wall Street Journal.
There have been 74 school shootings in the United States since Adam Lanza opened fire in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., the new online news outlet Vox reports. Many school districts, including Reynolds, have since incorporated lockdown drills in their emergency planning.
This report includes material from the Associated Press.