News | Local | Reynolds School Shooting

Troutdale Police Chief: Shooting Victim 14-Year-Old Emilio Hoffman

OPB | June 10, 2014 5 p.m. | Updated: June 11, 2014 10:43 a.m.

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At a Tuesday press conference, law enforcement officials identified the victim of the shooting at Reynolds High School in Troutdale as 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman.

After the shooting stopped Tuesday, 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 the suspect was dead and that he had likely killed himself, Troutdale police spokesman Sgt. Carey Kaer said.

Image of Emilio Hoffman from his Facebook account.

Image of Emilio Hoffman from his Facebook account.

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Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson said, “Tonight, I must share some sad news.”

Anderson told reporters he spent time with the Hoffman family this afternoon. “I can tell you they are devastated,” he said.

“They (the parents) want you to know Emilio was a great kid. He was loved by all,” Anderson said.

Anderson credited law enforcement with a quick response that may have saved lives.

He said that Hoffman was found in the locker room and that the suspect was found in a bathroom.

“This isn’t supposed to happen,” he said.

Officials have tentatively identified the shooter, but his identity has not been released.

Linda Florence, the Reynolds School District Superintendent, said students can retrieve their belongings at the Reynolds Middle School.

“We will get through this,” she said.

Florence said, “we have a very safe school district, we will make it safer.”

A girl 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.

Anderson said he spoke with Hoffman’s family, saying they had a difficult road ahead and sought privacy.

Hoffman 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.”

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

The teacher, Todd Rispler, had injuries 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 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,” the chief said, without elaborating.

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

The first reports of shots fired came around 8 a.m. on the next-to-last-day of classes. Police initially seemed uncertain about whether there was a live shooter in the school.

Students were eventually led from the school with hands up or on their heads. Parents and students were reunited in a supermarket parking lot.

Mandy Johnson said her daughter called from a friend’s phone.

“I thank God that she’s safe,” said Johnson, who has three younger children. “I don’t want to send my kids to school anymore.”

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. The school is about 15 miles from Portland and its students come from several communities.

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.

The Oregon violence came less than a week after a gunman opened fire on a college campus in neighboring Washington state, killing a 19-year-old man and wounding two others. It follows a string of mass shootings that have disturbed the nation, including one on Sunday in Nevada that left two Las Vegas police officers and a civilian dead.

The Tuesday shooting was the first fatal school shooting in Oregon since May 1998 when 15-year-old Kip Kinkel killed two students and wounded 25 others at Thurston High School in Springfield near Eugene. He killed his parents prior to the attack and is serving a 111-year prison sentence.

The AP contributed to this report. AP writers Gosia Wozniacka and Steven DuBois in Portland and Alina Hartounian in Phoenix contributed to this report.

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