Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Gunman kills student at Oregon school, police say (w/ video)

TROUTDALE, Ore. — A teenage gunman armed with a rifle shot and killed a 14-year-old student Tuesday and injured a teacher before he likely killed himself at a high school in a quiet Columbia River town in Oregon, authorities said.

After the shooting stopped, police spotted the suspect slumped on a toilet in a bathroom at Reynolds High School. Officers used a robot with a camera to investigate and discovered that the suspect was dead and that he had likely killed himself, Troutdale police spokesman Sgt. Carey Kaer said.

It was the 74th shooting at a school or university since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group.

The victim was identified as freshman Emilio Hoffman, who was "loved by all," police Chief Scott Anderson said at a news conference. He said Hoffman was found in the boys locker room.

A student who used to be Hoffman's girlfriend said he was "a good kid" and a "down-to-earth guy."

"He was very caring, he loved to joke around," said Savannah Venegas, 16.

Hoffman lived with his mother and had an older brother and two younger sisters, both in elementary school, Venegas said.

He didn't have enemies and "didn't stir up trouble," Venegas said. "They wouldn't have just picked him," she said. "It had to be, just, random."

Anderson said authorities have identified the gunman but his name is being withheld until his family is notified.

The teacher, Todd Rispler, had injuries that weren't life-threatening, and he was treated at the scene. Rispler, a 50-year-old physical education instructor and former track coach, went to the office and initiated the school lockdown, Anderson said.

The attack panicked students and they were told to go quietly to their classrooms.

Freshman Morgan Rose, 15, said she hunkered down in a locker room with another student and two teachers. "It was scary," she said.

Freshman Daniel DeLong, 15, said after the shooting that he saw a physical education teacher at the school with a bloodied shirt. DeLong said he was texting friends to make sure they were all okay. "It just, like, happened so fast, you know?" he said.

Anderson said two on-campus police officers were the first to respond to reports of a shooting. The officers and a tactical team sent to the school "brought this to a conclusion," the chief said, without elaborating.

Gov. John Kitzhaber said in a statement, "Oregon hurts as we try to make sense of a senseless act of violence."

The Reynolds School District issued a statement mourning the loss of one of its students. Reynolds is the second-largest high school in Oregon, with about 2,800 students. It is about 15 miles from Portland.

During the evacuation of the school, authorities found another student with a gun and he was taken into custody. That weapon and arrest were not related to the shooting, Anderson said.

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