Freshman shot dead at Ore. high school; suspect believed to have killed himself
TROUTDALE, Ore. — A teen gunman armed with a rifle shot and killed a student on 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 but couldn't see what was happening with him.
Officers used a robot with a camera to investigate and discovered the suspect was dead and that he had likely killed himself, Troutdale police Sgt. Carey Kaer said.
The victim was identified a 14-year-old freshman Emilio Hoffman, who was “loved by all,” police Chief Scott Anderson said at a news conference. He said Emilio was found in the boys' locker room.
He said earlier that the name of the gunman was being withheld until his family is notified.
The teacher's injuries weren't life-threatening, and he was treated at the scene. He was identified as Todd Rispler, a 50-year-old physical education instructor and former track coach and quarterback at the school.
The attack panicked students after a lockdown was ordered 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 in the moment. Now knowing everything's OK, I'm better,” she said.
Freshman Daniel DeLong, 15, said after the shooting that he saw a physical education teacher at the school with a bloodied shirt. He said he was texting friends to make sure they were all OK.
“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,” Anderson said, without elaborating.
The chief said he was sorry for the family of the slain student. “Today is a very tragic day for the city of Troutdale,” the chief said.
Gov. John Kitzhaber added in a statement: “Oregon hurts as we try to make sense of a senseless act of violence.”
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