Tragedy struck an Oregon high school Tuesday when a teen with a rifle killed another student and slightly wounded a teacher at the start of the second-to-last day of the year.
The gunman was found dead a short time later in a bathroom stall, where he apparently killed himself, said police in the Portland suburb of Troutdale.
SWAT teams descended on Reynolds High School after receiving a report of a shooting, police Chief Scott Anderson said. The school, the state's second-largest high school with 2,800 students, was locked down, and a room-by-room search was conducted.
Witnesses said the gunman fired several shots in the gymnasium before running into a bathroom. Teachers ran through the halls telling students to hide in classrooms.
A camera-equipped robot found the teen shooter slumped on a toilet with what appeared to be a self-inflicted wound, police spokesman Sgt. Carey Kaer said.
A family spokesman identified the gunman's victim as 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman, a freshman, KGW-TV reported. Police said the teen, who played soccer and was described as "a good kid," was shot in a locker room.
The identify of the shooter was withheld pending notification of his family.
The gunman killed Emilio Hoffman, a freshman at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore.(Photo: Courtesy of Hoffman family via KGW-TV, Portland, Ore.)
"There will be several days of healing and ongoing attention given to the students and the staff," the police chief said.
Anderson confirmed a report that another person had a gun at the school. Anderson said that a second person was taken into custody but that the person was not involved in the shooting.
Physical education teacher Todd Rispler, a former track coach and football star at the school, was treated at the scene after a bullet grazed one of his hips, he told KGW-TV.
Superintendent Linda Florence said despite his injury, Rispler initiated lockdown procedures and likely saved many lives.
"This is a very tragic day, one that I had hoped would never ever be part of my experience," she said. "We feel very sorry for our parents."
She said the students were "absolutely wonderful" at evacuating the building. The students exited the building, hands over their heads, and gathered in a nearby parking lot for teary reunions with parents.
Counseling was being made available to the school community, Florence said.
The shooting occurred just after 8 a.m. Students said the gunfire sounded like fireworks, and some thought it was a drill.
Freshman Morgan Rose, 15, said she hunkered down in a locker room with another student and two teachers.
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"It was scary in the moment. Now knowing everything's OK, I'm better," she said.
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.
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. She said multiple police departments responded, including several SWAT teams.
Troutdale Mayor Doug Daoud lauded police for their quick response.
"This has been a very unsettling day for our precious city," Daoud said. "My heart goes out to all the families."
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber issued a statement of condolence for the school community.
A Reynolds High School student says that the shooting occured in the gymnasium as other students tweeted about the chaotic scene. KGW
"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 were headed to Reynolds High School to assist in the investigation, the ATF said on its Twitter feed.
Troutdale, east of Portland, is home to about 16,000 people.
The shooting was the 74th on a U.S. campus since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., according to the American Federation of Teachers, the union representing staff at Reynolds High.
"This is the 74th time the safety of a school community has been shattered by a gunman. This is the 74th time students, educators and school staff have felt the terror of not knowing if they will ever see their loved ones again. This is the 74th time that parents have experienced the fear of not knowing what is happening to their children," AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement.
"It is long past time for action. We renew our call for leaders to act in the interest of our children and families to ensure that our schools are safe sanctuaries. We must pass sensible reforms that can help prevent our children, and those who teach and nurture them, from being gunned down. And we will work with our affiliate and the entire Reynolds High School community to help them heal and to restore a sense of safety and security."
In a question-answer session on the social media site Tumblr, President Obama said that "my biggest frustration so far is that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps" to curb gun violence.
"We should be ashamed," the president said, citing the failed effort to toughen background checks and criticizing lawmakers and candidates who are "terrified of the NRA."
"To those who say it's not guns, it's mental health: The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people."
"This is becoming the norm" in ways that "as a parent, are terrifying to me," he said.