Oregon high school shooting: ‘This is not a drill’

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(CNN) — When the shooting started at her high school near Portland, Oregon, early Tuesday, student Jaimie Infante didn’t recognize the sound of the gunshot.

She thought maybe somebody had dropped a book.

In reality, a lone gunman had opened fire at the school, killing one student and forcing others to flee.

An assistant principal told students to go into lockdown mode.

“At the end he said: ‘This is not a drill,'” Infante told CNN.

A teacher suffered non-life-threatening injuries. He was treated at the scene.

The suspected gunman is also dead, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to multiple law enforcement officials, the shooter was a student at the school. The gunman appears to have died from a self-inflicted wound, the sources told CNN.

Authorities are working to notify the relatives of both the shooter and the student, neither of whom has been identified.

Officials believe they know who the gunman was, but they are “not confident enough” to reveal details yet, Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson told reporters midday Tuesday.

“Today is a very tragic day for the city of Troutdale and Reynolds School District,” he said. “I’m very, very sorry for the family, and for all the students, and everybody who will be impacted by this tragic incident.”

‘Could have been much worse’

The shooting happened at about 8 a.m. (11 a.m. ET) at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, about 12 miles east of Portland. The city has a population of some 16,400 people.

When it started, student Hannah League ducked into a classroom, where she and others huddled in a corner with no lights — hiding.

“I heard these pops and I thought they were firecrackers, but then I saw a teacher run out with his side kind of bloody,” League told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

“You don’t think something’s going to happen like that — especially to your school. It’s kind of, like, crazy,” she said.

Details about what led to the shooting weren’t immediately available. The gunman is believed to have used a rifle.

A couple of SWAT teams responded, said Sue Strickland of the Troutdale Police Department.

“Without the quick and well-executed response, this tragedy could have been much worse,” the Reynolds School District said in a statement.

Anxious parents waited for news that their children were safe. One couple, Craig Tuholski and Tawnjia Reimer, were talking with CNN affiliate KGW, about how agonizing the wait for news was, when Tuholski’s cell phone rang.

“Is that Chris?” Reimer asked before letting out a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank God.”

“That’s what we were waiting for,” Tuholski said after hanging up.

About an hour after the shooting, Oregon State Police said the area was secure and the situation was contained.

Obama: ‘Levels of gun violence off the charts’

The shooting sparked nationwide reaction.

“Our hearts go out to the Reynolds HS community. How many more students must we lose before committing to reduce gun violence in our schools?” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asked on his Twitter account.

Speaking in Washington, President Barack Obama said the nation should be ashamed of its inability to get tougher gun restrictions through Congress in the aftermath of mass shootings that he said have become commonplace in America.

“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on Earth that would put up with this,” he said in response to a question about gun violence.

Most members of Congress are “terrified” of the National Rifle Association, the President said, adding that nothing will change until public opinion demands it.

“The country has to do some soul searching about this. This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted, in ways that as a parent are terrifying to me,” Obama said.

CNN first learned of the shooting through reports on Twitter.

By Dana Ford and Jason Hanna

CNN’s Mariano Castillo, Steve Almasy, Tom Cohen, Evan Perez, Pam Brown, Shimon Prokupecz and Stefan Simon contributed to this report.

13 comments

  • Steven Sweeney

    “we need more gun laws” is what the liberals will say, not realizing high school kids can’t legally own guns.Liberals are worse for the country than the school shooters are.

    • Nightgrave

      we need more people to carry gun to help stop shit like this. The dumb anti gunners need to wake up. But they will use this to try to get what they want.

      • TheREALByeByeToTheRite

        Hey, did you know that in the Las Vegas shooting (yeah, I know, it’s hard to keep up with the daily ritual of gun killings these days in NRA-gun-fanatic America) the guy killed at WalMart was a CONCEAL CARRY NRA guy trying to be a hero, and he got gunned down for it! So conceal carry didn’t work for him, now, did it?

        I was even wondering why these “revolution” anti-cop shooters would suddenly shoot somebody at WalMart – and that’s why. The guy tried to be a hero, and failed.

        Like MOST conceal carry will fail. There usually just isn’t time to git our yer weapon, etc. without making yourself a target. And what about Seattle, where an unarmed student brought down the armed wacko while he was “reloading, not retreating” as Sarah would say? Don’t always need a gun to stop gun violence.

        Bottom line, the more folks carry guns, the more the bad guys will have them and use them, and on and on the downward spiral goes until America becomes another Syria or Iraq. Of course, not that that’s not what the far-right radical wimps want!

      • Mascoutan

        BYEBYE – so you would just wet your pants and then fall on the ground or would that be crying and screaming your head off while you ran away?
        And your “logic” is so sound – “the more folks carry guns, the more the bad guys will have them and use them” So gun laws take the guns from law abiding people but do nothing to take the guns from criminals and you think that’s the solution? That is insane. You can’t wave your magic wand and eliminate all the guns, everywhere. If you do, please go get help.

      • nightgrave

        SUPORT THE NRA, SUPORT OUR GUN RIGHTS, START PACKING AMERICA, WE NEED TO STOP CRIME. ANYONE WHO READS THIS AND YOUR ANTI GUN WELL GET OUT OF AMERICA. ANTI GUN IS ANTI AMERICAN NOT ONE MORE ANTI GUN PRESIDENT, NOT ONE MORE ANTI GUN POLITICIAN, NOT ONE MORE ANTI GUN LAW. NOT ONE MORE, NOT ONE MORE.

  • TheREALByeByeToTheRite

    Wow, look Ma, hardly any posters on this MORE TYPICAL story about guns being used for crimes and school shootings and on and on.

    How come you gun fanatic wackos aren’t getting your rocks off on THIS story, like you are on the dad who killed a perp who tried to assault his daughter? I already know why – because this happens about 25 times more often and shows what is WRONG with our gun-saturated nation and its sicko NRA gun freaks.

    We don’t necessarily need more gun laws – we need to enforce the ones we have! AND we need to rid ourselves of this selfish, arrogant gun culture mentality so typical of primitive societies, that has NO place in a once-advanced nation like America.

    Wacked out NRA gun fanatics are worse for the country than the school shooters are!

    And often they are connected (like Sandy Hook – proud NRA mom takes her mentally disturbed boy out to shoot guns, like that will help him – what a pathetic nutcase who paid the price for being so pathetically naive.)

    • Mascoutan

      Sooo BYEBYE, can’t pass a background check, can you? Too bad that the Dimcrats have effectively eliminated the possibility of you getting any mental health treatment for your obvious condition, huh?

    • Mascoutan

      Oh and BYEBYE – let’s not worry about facts here, because almost EVERY mass shooter was/is a liberal/progressive suffering from mental health problems (redundant arguement, I know) and NOT NRA members. You don’t own any weapons, do you?

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