LOS ANGELES- A rifle-toting gunman killed a 14-year-old student at an Oregon high school Tuesday, the latest in a spate of US shootings that prompted a renewed warning from President Barack Obama.
The gunman, said to be another student, also died in the shooting at Reynolds High School in the northwestern US state, taking his own life according to media reports.
Police named the victim as Emilio Hoffman, who died in a boys’ locker room of the school’s gym building. The shooter, who has still been identified, was found in a separate bathroom.
Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson praised the actions of two school resource officers who were among the first to respond to the shooting.
“I believe their quick response saved many of our students’ lives,” he said, while not confirming whether the shooter had killed himself or been shot.
Witnesses reported students and teachers cowering in classrooms as the shooting unfolded. One teacher also suffered non life-threatening injuries, police said.
As the drama unfolded, live TV pictures showed the increasingly common sight of students filing out of the school with their hands on their heads.
“My daughter was just shaking and scared,” said one mother. “She was huddled in the corner of a room with some students and had the lights out,” she told KOIN 6 television.
“When a SWAT team person unlocked the door to her room she freaked out, thinking that it was the shooter coming in,” the mother, identified as Becky, told the broadcaster.
Anderson added that, during the school search, another gun was found, and its owner taken into custody. He stressed that this appeared totally separate from Tuesday’s shooting.
This was the fourth shooting in three weeks in the former Wild West region of the United States.