Tue June 10, 2014
Police: Gunman Kills Student In School Shooting
Police in Oregon say a gunman fatally shot a student at a high school near Portland.
Authorities said Tuesday the suspect also was dead and the situation is stabilized.
The Multnomah County sheriff’s office said there were reports of shots fired about 8 a.m. at Reynolds High School in Troutdale.
Authorities say they’re now focusing on reuniting students with their parents.
MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, HOST:
From NPR and WBUR Boston, I'm Meghna Chakrabarti. This is HERE AND NOW. There's been another deadly school shooting this time at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, outside of Portland. Here's Troutdale police chief, Scott Anderson, in a news conference about an hour ago.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)
SCOTT ANDERSON: A gunman entered the high school this morning and shot one student. Unfortunately, that student has died. The gunman was located, and the gunman is also deceased.
CHAKRABARTI: KGW TV spoke to students, and one described what it was like inside the building.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: We just saw people running everywhere, like, people screaming. We didn't know what was going on. And we just all went to the back of the classroom. We were all scared.
CHAKRABARTI: For the latest we turn now to Rob Manning, education reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He's in Troutdale. And, Rob, if you could, describe where you are and what's happening at the moment.
ROB MANNING: Well, right now I'm at a place that was designated by authorities initially for parents to come and pick up their students. It's basically a supermarket parking lot. And there have been some parents who have come here looking for their kids. Some have actually been able to, I believe. But most of the dropping off was actually moved to a different spot.
This is where the police briefing was that the tape was from that you played just a moment ago. Certainly, there were a lot of very, very worried parents here not long ago. They are now, you know, mostly feeling, I think, relief at being able to reconnect with their children.
CHAKRABARTI: So have SWAT teams completed evacuating Reynolds High?
MANNING: As of right now they are still evacuating the high school. It's a very - it's a large high school. It's 2,500 students. So - and they're being very methodical about it.
They are talking to students as they're leaving. They're also going through the building making sure that they have accounted for all the - all the students, make sure that, you know, they're - that they know who's there and know that they're leaving the building safely. So that's still going on right now.
CHAKRABARTI: Now we heard Troutdale police chief Scott Anderson say in that piece of tape a moment ago that the gunman was located and also deceased. What more do we know about the gunman? Was it a self-inflicted wound? Do we know anything about the gunman's identity?
MANNING: We don't at this point. We are waiting for a press conference, another briefing that's going to happen in a little while now, about a half an hour where we're hoping that we'll get more details like that. Those guestions were asked, but the police are not feeling comfortable releasing that information or maybe didn't know all the details at the initial press conference earlier this morning.
CHAKRABARTI: Now, people who have seen the images on television stations this morning and through the early afternoon have seen those images of students being led out of the school with their hands on their heads - sadly an all too familiar image in America these days. But the Reynolds school district superintendent praised how students exited the school. I mean, have they been practicing for this kind of evacuation?
MANNING: There are drills and preparedness things that are done in schools these days. I think they were ramped up after the Clackamas town shooting - Town Center shooting some time ago where, you know, there was a shopping mall incident. And since then there have been a lot more security measures taken inside of schools, more training has been done with police.
And so yes, as you said, the superintendent was very pleased with how students were coming out, and you heard later from students and from parents, you know, that the buzz inside the school was, hey, this is not a drill, suggesting that they had been through drills. And we spoke earlier, just a bit ago, with a woman who was waiting for her daughter to come out of the school. She's a substitute teacher actually on her first day as a substitute at Reynolds High School. She had heard the shots from down the hall. And she is being kept inside the building until all the students are out.
CHAKRABARTI: Rob Manning, education reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting speaking to us from Troutdale, Oregon. Rob, thank you.
MANNING: You're welcome.
CHAKRABARTI: You're listening to HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.