TROUTDALE, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Troutdale police have identified the student killed in the shooting at Reynolds High School student Tuesday morning as a 14-year-old freshman.
Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson identified Emilio Hoffman as the victim in the shooting during a 5 p.m. update.
Anderson also reiterated that law enforcement officials had tentatively identified the shooter, but still were not “in a position to 100% confirm his name and age at this time.”
According to preliminary information, Anderson said the shooter entered the building that houses the high school’s gym, which is a separate, detached building from the school. It was inside the boy’s locker room that the gunman shot Hoffman, Anderson said.
The shooter was located dead in a different bathroom, Anderson said. Police are awaiting word from the medical examiner as to how the gunman died.
Anderson also said it is still not clear if it was a targeted or random shooting.
The parents of Hoffman met with police earlier Tuesday, said Anderson. He said his parents are “devastated by the news,” calling him a “great kid” and was “loved by all.”
Reynolds School District Superintendent Linda Florence expressed condolences for the victim’s family and thanked staff and students for being able to follow protocol to lock down and exit the building as quickly as possible.
“We have a very safe school district, and now it will become even safer,” said Florence.
Soon after the noon press conference, loved ones of high school student Emilio Hoffman began taking to Twitter naming him as deceased.
A person who identified himself as Hoffman’s brother confirmed that Hoffman, a freshman, had been “shot.”
Reynolds school teacher Todd Rispler was grazed by a bullet in the hip while teaching a weight lifting class, and was treated at the scene.
One student in the gymnasium at the time of the shooting said she saw a person run out of the locker room and heard gunfire.
“Somebody started running from the locker room. We heard a few shots,” she said. “It was unbelievable.”
A senior law enforcement official confirmed the shooter was likely armed with a rifle. Police were first alerted to the shooting just after 8 a.m.
A great deal of confusion surrounding a possible second shooter was made at least a bit more clear by Anderson’s noon update. The police chief said during the evacuation authorities found a student in possession of a gun, but twice emphasized it was “unrelated to this incident.”
That student, Anderson said, was taken into custody.
Another student, Tate Blaylock, said at one point the shooter had been in the same room with him. Blaylock said he witnessed the suspected shooter, a male who was not covering his face, but didn’t recognize him.
He also saw the student found with a gun getting arrested.
“He was sitting there like a normal kid,” Blaylock said.
“This is a very tragic day, one that I hoped would never ever be part of my experience,” Florence said to parents, students and media. “Our kids were absolutely wonderful today at exiting the building.”
Anderson echoed the sentiment, calling the shooting “a very tragic day for the city of Troutdale and the Reynolds School District.”
“I’m very, very sorry for the family and for the students and anyone who will be impacted,” Anderson said.
Around 100 law enforcement officers, tactical teams and medical personnel were involved with the evacuation of students and staff.
Parents were asked to reunite with their children at the Wood Village Fred Meyer at NE 223rd and NE Glisan, not the Safeway location initially given.
The students began boarding TriMet buses in groups of around 30 at a time around 9:30 a.m., being systemically marked off a list and handed over to parents or guardians upon arriving to the parking lot. The evacuations ended just after 1 p.m.
About 2,800 students attend the school, one of the largest in the state. Wednesday was supposed to be the final day of the school year, and seniors are thought to have already been finished with classes.
Classes are canceled for Reynolds High School on Wednesday, but all other schools in the district will be in session as normal.
Prayer vigils were held across the area Tuesday evening to remember Hoffman. A funeral fund setup on gofundme.com had reached $2,295 of its $3,000 goal as of 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The website states the fund was setup by Daniela Makowski, a Reynolds High School alumni.
Following the shooting, investigators set up a tip line — 503.250.7943 — in hopes of learning more about the shooter’s timeline and motive. Troutdale police also asked anyone with photos or information concerning the shooting to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multnomah County established a mental health resource center at Mt. Hood Community College gymnasium. That center is being staffed by counselors from Multnomah County, FBI Victim’s Services, and Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) and the Reynolds School District from 7:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The Multnomah County Mental Health Crisis line is also available at 503.988.4888.
The Reynolds School District also said counseling support and translators will be available at every school within the district on Wednesday.
Law enforcement and the Reynolds School District said students and staff can continue to retrieve the items that they took with them during the evacuation on Wednesday, starting at 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at the Reynolds Middle School Gymnasium, which is located at 1200 NE 201st Avenue in Fairview. Items left inside the high school are still not yet accessible.
Meanwhile, the Portland Police Bureau announced late Tuesday evening that they would be providing added presence at Portland schools for the remainder of the school year to “assure students, parents and teachers that they are in a safe environment.” Authorities stressed that there is no specific information or concerns about violence. Police said that after Tuesday’s shooting, they will provide “an extra layer of protection and presence for students and teachers.”
Response from Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama weighed in on Tuesday’s shooting, which came less than a week after the shooting at Seattle Pacific University. In response to the violence, he called for a change in the nation’s gun laws.
Obama said there’s no place else in the world where the mass shootings are a once-a-week occurrence. He said the country must do some soul-searching.
“My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do unbelievable damage. We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens – happens once a week,” said Obama.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer, the US representative for Oregon’s third congressional district, also led the House in a moment of silence after giving a brief statement in regards to Tuesday’s shooting at Reynolds High School.
KOIN 6 News is at the school. Stay with KOIN.com for continual updates.