By Michael Muskal and Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times
A gunman is dead at a Troutdale, Oregon, high school and the situation has been brought under control, according to the Multnomah County sheriff’s office.
Students, who had been locked in place, were evacuated from Reynolds High School and were being reunited with their parents in a nearby supermarket parking lot.
Police and emergency personnel responded on Tuesday to reports of a shooting at the school, about an hour away from Portland.
The reports of shots fired came in about 8 a.m. at the school, officials said.
Local television reported injuries, but the conditions were not available.
“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, Wash., 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 grade 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.
AFP Photo/Scott Olson