LOS ANGELES : A gunman shot and killed a student at an Oregon high school Tuesday, in the latest in a spate of US shootings, police said.
The gunman also died in the incident at Reynolds High School in Troutdale in the northwestern US state, said the local police chief. Witnesses reported students and teachers cowering in classroom as the shooting unfolded. “A gunman entered the high school this morning, shot one student. Unfortunately, that student has died,” said police chief Scott Anderson in the city just east of Portland. “The gunman was located and the gunman is also deceased ... The situation is contained,” he added. Greg Fernandes’s son is a student at the school and was in the gym when the shooting started. “He was in there for PE and thought it was fireworks until they didn’t stop and people started running,” he told the Oregonian newspaper.
A woman whose daughter is a substitute teacher at the school, recounted exchanging texts with her as the shooting unfolded.
“She heard the gunshots, she heard the people tell the person to put the gun down,” the mother told KOIN 6 television, reporting that her daughter was “scared to death.” “My daughter was just shaking and scared. From the texts that she sent me .. she was huddled in the corner of a room with some students and had the lights out. “When a SWAT team person unlocked the door to her room she freaked out, thinking that it was the shooter coming in,” she told the broadcaster.
The school has some 2,800 students, although many of them finished classes last week, so it was unclear how many were on site Tuesday. Large numbers of armed police scambled to lock down the school after reports of shots fired around 8:00 am. But about an hour later the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said the situation was under control. “Multiple agencies responded and tactical teams are currently evacuating students and staff,” it said.
There were no immediate reports of other casualties, after children could be seen in live TV images filing out with their hands on their heads. The shooting is the latest in a spate of such incidents over the past few weeks in the former Wild West region of the United States. On May 23, a student with mental problems, the son of a Hollywood director, went on a gun rampage at a college campus in Santa Barbara, north of Los Angeles, killing six people and then himself.
On June 5, a gunman killed one person and injured two others on on a college campus in the northwestern US city of Seattle, in what the local mayor denounced as America’s “epidemic of gun violence.” On Sunday, a couple with possible links to anti-government militia shot dead two police officers execution-style in a Las Vegas pizza restaurant, before killing another civilian nearby and then themselves.