A gunman walked into an Oregon high school and fatally shot a student on Tuesday before authorities found him dead a short time later.
Reynolds High School in the northern Oregon city of Troutdale was on lockdown after the shooting and students were being evacuated from the school room by room, police said.
“A gunman entered the high school this morning, shot one student. Unfortunately, that student has died,” Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson said at a news conference.
He said the gunman was also found dead.
Anderson gave no further details and did not say whether the gunman was killed by police or took his own life.
CNN said earlier that some injuries had been sustained in the shooting, but neither of two fire departments that responded to the scene nor a private ambulance service, American Medical Response, reported taking any patients from the school.
Police said 30 to 40 Troutdale officers were on the scene. Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies also responded, police said.
Television footage showed police officers in helmets and tactical gear, leaving armored vehicles and running near the school’s perimeter with long rifles. Students were seen streaming out of the school with their hands raised.
“I do know that the students are being evacuated room by room by the police. The shooter is confirmed dead. They’re evacuating students that were on lockdown one room at a time,” Troutdale Mayor Doug Daoust told CNN. “We do have a huge police presence in front of the school.”
The violence in Oregon was the latest in a string of U.S. shootings in recent weeks, including one at a Christian college in neighboring Washington state last week, that have renewed a protracted debate over gun regulations.
Social media has been on fire over the incident with one student tweeting that the school is in lockdown and a number of police cars have rolled up. A second student has tweeted that she heard gunfire. A third reported a police officer racing toward the school’s gymnasium.
Jacob Saldaña, 16, a junior, told The Times he saw a teacher who had apparently been shot and “skimmed” in the hip but who was not seriously wounded.
Saldaña said he was walking in the school as classes were about to start when a school secretary pulled him into the front office and said there was a lockdown. He thought it was maybe just another drill, but as the secretary hurried him into a back room away from windows, he saw the teacher who had apparently been hit.
“When I got into the room and I saw one of the teachers had a wound, I knew this was not a joke, it was real,” Saldaña said, adding, “He was definitely bleeding … [But] he was really strong for somebody who had a wound, he was kind of walking it off.”
Eventually a police officer came to the front doors of a school and administrators unlocked the door after the officer slipped a card under the door.
They led Saldaña and the others out, and as Saldaña ran out of the school, he said he ran past “dozens” of cop cars.
“There is literally cop cars here from every surrounding city,” Saldaña said. “We ran through the cops, then we got to the church across the street, and we were patted down.”
Saldaña added, “It is still surreal right now,” as he was surrounded by hundreds of students at the church, unclear about what happened and what happens next.
Another student, Hannah Amerson, 17, a junior, said she was on her way to school “when I saw at least six or seven cop cars head up the road. I got a really bad feeling so I asked my friends if everything was OK and they said they heard gunshots.”
One of those friends said he had heard about seven gunshots, she said.
“So I turned the other way and went to a friend’s house,” Amerson said. “While walking to my friend’s house, I saw more and more and more cop cars. More than I had ever seen in our town at one time.
“Now I’m safe at home watching the news and talking to whoever I can to make sure I know what’s going on.”
Savannah Bottenfield, 16, a junior, said she was in the arts building in the bathroom when a girl came in and said they were on lockdown. A teacher came in and they barricaded their door with a trash can because the bathroom door didn’t have a lock.
“We had to be quiet, and the doors to the arts building and the bathroom were unlocked, so I felt really scared and very unsafe because I knew there would be nothing we could do if someone walked in the building,” Bottenfield wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times. “I sat there for over an hour and a half listening to sirens nonstop in fear because we didn’t know what was going on or if our friends were safe.”
Bottenfield added: “Never in a million years would I think this would happen at Reynolds. You never think something tragic and terrifying like this will happen to you until it does.”
Reuters and the Los Angeles Times contributed to this report