Police kill armed man at Oregon school amid custody dispute
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Police shot and killed a man who showed up Friday with a gun at an Oregon middle school amid a custody dispute, authorities said. No one else was injured.
The man had been escorted from Cascade Middle School in Eugene when he began struggling and pulled a gun, police Lt. Jennifer Bills told reporters. She initially said the shooting was inside the school.
Students were locked in classrooms, and the school was locked down for nearly four hours.
By Friday afternoon, officers were escorting small groups of children to a nearby church where parents had gathered.
Yellow crime scene tape surrounded the school’s main parking lot and a yellow tarp covered the suspect’s body just a few feet from an entrance. His name was not immediately released.
“No students were harmed whatsoever. All the students are safe,” Bills said.
Parent Stephanie Martin waited for her two children at the church in Eugene, the home of the University of Oregon about 110 miles (177 kilometers) south of Portland.
She said her son, a sixth-grader, called her to say he and his sister, a seventh-grader, were OK.
“The kids are all safe, that’s all we know. But that’s all I care about,” Martin said. “It’s crazy, the world is crazy.”
Andrew Ramos-Aguirre, a sixth-grader at the school, said that when word of the shooting spread, his physical education classroom quickly followed a drill they had practiced.
“We had to lock down the room, we had to be really quiet, no movement,” Ramos-Aguirre said after he was reunited with his mother, who teared up as she heard her son’s account.
“I felt afraid and nervous because there was an intruder at my school,” the boy said.
The area saw one of the first school shootings to seize the national spotlight.
More than 20 years ago, then 15-year-old Kip Kinkel killed his parents before fatally shooting two students and wounding 26 others at Thurston High School in nearby Springfield. Kinkel remains in prison.
Flaccus reported from Portland.