By Michael Muskal and Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times
One student has been killed and the shooter is also dead at Reynolds High School near Portland, Oregon, police said Tuesday morning.
At a televised news conference, Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson told reporters that the violent situation, which began at 8 a.m., was contained and over.
The chief said one student was fatally shot in the campus attack. No names were given.
Students, who had been locked in place at the school, were evacuated from Reynolds High School and were being reunited with their parents in a nearby supermarket parking lot.
Police and emergency personnel responded Tuesday to reports of a shooting at the school, about 16 miles east of Portland.
“Every officer we have is out on that call,” a spokeswoman for the Troutdale Police Department told the Los Angeles Times.
In addition to those officers, officials from as many as 13 surrounding communities have responded, Troutdale Mayor Doug Daust told MSNBC.
The Clark County, Washington, Sheriff’s Department is among those responding, an official told the Los Angeles Times.
Televised images from the scene showed parents anxiously waiting outside the grades 9 through 12 school. It is finals week at the school, the mayor said.
Social media have been on fire over the incident with one student tweeting the school is in lockdown and a number of police cars have rolled up. A second student has tweeted she heard gunfire. A third reported a police officer racing toward the school’s gymnasium.
Jacob Saldana, 16, a junior, told the Times he saw a teacher who had apparently been shot and “skimmed” in the hip, but who was not seriously wounded.
Saldana said he was walking in the school as classes were about to start when a school secretary pulled him into the front office and said there was a lockdown. He thought it was just another drill, but as the secretary hurried him into a back room away from windows.
“When I got into the room and I saw one of the teachers had a wound, I knew this was not a joke, it was real,” Saldana said, adding, “He was definitely bleeding … (But) he was really strong for somebody who had a wound, he was kind of walking it off.”
Eventually a police officer came to the front doors of the school and administrators unlocked the door after the officer slipped a card under the door.
They led Saldana and the others out. As Saldana ran out of the school, he said he ran past “dozens” of cop cars.
“There is literally cop cars here from every surrounding city,” Saldana said. “We ran through the cops, then we got to the church across the street, and we were patted down.”
Saldana added, “It is still surreal right now,” as he was surrounded by hundreds of students at the church, unclear about what happened and what happens next.
Another student, Hannah Amerson, 17, a junior, said she was on her way to school “when I saw at least six or seven cop cars head up the road. I got a really bad feeling so I asked my friends if everything was OK and they said they heard gunshots.”
One of those friends said he had heard about seven gunshots, she said.
“So I turned the other way and went to a friend’s house,” Amerson said. “While walking to my friend’s house, I saw more and more and more cop cars. More than I had ever seen in our town at one time.
“Now I’m safe at home watching the news and talking to whoever I can to make sure I know what’s going on.”
Savannah Bottenfield, 16, a junior, said she was in the arts building in the bathroom when a girl came in and said they were on lockdown. A teacher came in and they barricaded their door with a trash can because the bathroom door didn’t have a lock.
“We had to be quiet, and the doors to the arts building and the bathroom were unlocked, so I felt really scared and very unsafe because I knew there would be nothing we could do if someone walked in the building,” Bottenfield wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times. “I sat there for over an hour and a half listening to sirens non-stop in fear because we didn’t know what was going on or if our friends were safe.”
Bottenfield added: “Never in a million years would I think this would happen at Reynolds. You never think something tragic and terrifying like this will happen to you until it does.”
Photo: KcdsTM via Flickr