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Friday 22 August 2014

Two die in US school shooting

Published 10/06/2014 | 17:17

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Police instruct family members on where to pick up students after a shooting at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon (AP/The Oregonian, Thomas Boyd)

A student has been shot dead and a suspected gunman has also died in a US high school shooting, police say.

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Officers said the situation has stabilised after the school was evacuated.

The Multnomah County sheriff's office said there were reports of shots fired about 8 am on Tuesday at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, near Portland, Oregon.

Students say they were told over the intercom there was a lockdown and to go quietly to their classrooms.

Students were evacuated from the school, hands on their heads, to be reunited with their parents in a supermarket car park.

Daniel DeLong, 15, said while waiting after the shooting that he saw a physical education teacher at the school with a bloodied shirt.

"I'm a little shaken up," DeLong said. "I'm just worried."

Freshman Morgan Rose, 15, said she was 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.

Special Weapons and Tactics teams were going through the school room by room, KGW-TV reported.

Police set up tape around the area and were not allowing people to pass through. Fire trucks were on the scene.

The shooting follows a spate of recent attacks at or near school campuses.

On June 5, a 19-year-old man was killed and two other people wounded when a gunman opened fire in a building at Seattle Pacific University. The 26-year-old suspect is being held without bail. Police said he had no connection to the university, but apparently was planning to kill as many people as he could before killing himself.

Gun control is a fiercely divisive issue in the United States, where the right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution, alongside such basic rights as free speech and freedom of religion.

President Barack Obama's plan for broader background checks on gun purchases, along with proposals for a ban on military-style assault rifles and limits on ammunition capacity, failed last year in Congress.

This despite the December 2012 killings of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that shocked the nation.

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