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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
School Shooting in Troutdale, Oregon; Students Evacuated; Shooter Killed; Shooter Had Semiautomatic Weapon
Aired June 10, 2014 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: I've been to your area, it's just -- it's stunning. It's so serene. And it's just unbelievable when these things happen. Do you have any word yet on the injuries? Because early on, we were told that, yes, there were injuries. Any idea on the hospitals, who's been notified, how many are on standby, await injured? Any descriptions?
MAYOR DOUG DAOUST, TROUTDALE, OREGON (via telephone): I don't have numbers. I know the life flight helicopter was flown here to the school, but I have not seen -- or there's no reported injuries yet except for the shooter of course.
BANFIELD: And flown to the school and landing in a nearby field as some reports said, is that accurate?
DAOUST (via telephone): As far as I know, that's true. There's a large field near the school.
BANFIELD: Do we know if the life flight helicopter you're speaking of took off as well with patients inside?
DAOUST (via telephone): No, it has not yet.
BANFIELD: So that could be seen as good news. At this point, do we have any idea if during this room to room sweep of the remaining kids who were inside on lockdown, if they're also looking for injured?
At this point, do we know for sure there are no dead and there will be no dead or if we even know that the injury count won't continue? Because they're sweeping the school.
DAOUST (via telephone): Well, that's a good point. Sadly to say, we do not know that yet. There are no reports yet, but they're still emptying the school out. It's the second largest high school in Oregon. It's a very large high school. It's going to take a while.
BANFIELD: Mayor, I really appreciate you taking the time. I am so sorry that you have joined a long list of mayors, officials, schools, citizens, who have had to deal with this now being your reality when probably before it was a reality you watched, sadly, on the news.
Our apologies go out to you. I hope you can recover from this, the mayor joining us live on the line, the mayor of Troutdale, a suburb, effectively, of the beautiful and bucolic Portland, Oregon. The police have announced to us they will update us officially in a press conference live at 12:45 Eastern time. That's just in a little over 12 minutes from now.
We'll be live right here on CNN as well. We're just going to head out to break showing you some of these pictures of the kids who made it out and are now talking through what they've been through and what will now be their saddest memory of this 2013/2014 school year that is over tomorrow effectively.
As we go to break, I can let you know, if you want to follow this on social media as well, the police, the sheriff, has let us know they're actively tweeting out the latest information, #rhshooting. That's Reynolds High School.
BANFIELD: Continuing to update you on the breaking news out of Troutdale, Oregon, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, yet another school shooting, only an hour and 20 minutes into this incident.
The silver lining to report is the incident is contained and secure. The sad story is, at least one person showed up with a semiautomatic weapon and that shooter has been killed. We know very little else about what that shooter was able to perpetrate before the police arrived on the scene to neutralize the situation.
We also can't tell you if the room by room evacuation that has been ongoing, as confirmed by the mayor of Troutdale, is over. But we can confirm this, only one shooter involved and that shooter is now dead. I can also tell you the life flight helicopter in that region landed in a nearby field and the mayor tells us it did not take off, which could be a very good sign at this point.
Again, the room-by-room evacuation has yielded that now very familiar image of high school students streaming out of the exits at a fairly rapid pace, hands over their heads, to safer areas. All parents of kids who attend this high school, Reynolds High School, are being told, do not come to the high school.
This is the image that we've been watching for the last hour, 20 minutes, or so. The coverage in that area has been watching as the kids stream out and, of course, they have come face-to-face with what so many others before them have as well, dozens of heavily armed officers coming to their rescue.
I want to bring in Sara Sidner, our correspondent who's been watching the social media. Sara, I know that the sheriffs sent out that hash tag, #rhshooting, so that they can continue to update as updates were warranted. But that's also been very populated by parents and by those who are intimately involved. What are you seeing?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, to help parents understand what's going on at the very initial beginning of all of this, and then as it goes on, they're telling each other where to go. So it's fascinating. You look at that hash tag and you can see some of the conversations that are happening, people trying to figure out where to find their children.
Also, some of the high school students seem to have been tweeting. And we can't confirm all of the information that is out there on Twitter, of course, but there's a lot of information coming and going.
There's talk of it happening in a gym. We haven't confirmed that yet with authorities. There's talk of somebody being injured, but again, we have not been able to get that nailed down with authorities. There's a tweet about a teacher perhaps being injured, but we are waiting to get confirmation from authorities on any of these details that we're seeing.
You're seeing a picture right there that someone took, as parents were told, as they're looking at this #rhshooting, told to go and meet, and they're all meeting there. You can even see them. You can even see a woman there, that very close shot, on her phone, looking like she's texting someone.
There's a lot of activity going on, online, to help people figure out what to do. Initially, as you said, the sheriff's office told people to stay away from the school, as you saw those students streaming out. This is where, that picture you're seeing there from Twitter, where parents were told to gather, to wait for information, and to wait to make sure it was safe to go and find their students.
And, again, we heard from the mayor there on your show, Ashleigh, that they were still evacuating, room by room, trying to get all of the students out to make sure that everyone is safe. We are still waiting to hear whether or there are any injuries. We do know that authorities say the shooter is dead. And you're looking at live pictures there, just showing the scene, still plenty of activity outside of that school, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: I'll tell you what the records specialist named Sue Strickland from the Troutdale police department told us. She suggested, yes, there are injuries. She couldn't be more specific, but she said there are injuries.
And the mayor didn't know whether that room-to-room was going to find additional injuries or not, but hat life flight helicopter you knew see on your screen, it is probably a good sign that it has not taken off with something that is a critical injury.
And, by the way, for those watching in this area who are wondering where they're supposed to reunite with their children, they're being told by the sheriff that the Wood Village Fred Meyer, which is not far from there.
I want to fit in a quick break, but not before I remind you that in just a few moments, the local police are going to hold a press conference to update us on all these unanswered questions, including who did this and why.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BANFIELD: And as we continue our breaking news, you're seeing live pictures of the Life Flight helicopter that had landed near the Reynolds High School earlier today. It has just taken off. It's unclear if there are patients aboard that helicopter. But that was something we were waiting to find out about injuries after a school shooting at this high school in Troutdale, Oregon, near Portland, Oregon.
The mayor of Troutdale saying just moments ago on CNN that the room by room searches for students to evacuate them as they were locked down as an active shooting situation was -- you know, was actually put under control. We were unclear whether all the students were out. And certainly this became the image yet again that we've been watching as the hundreds of kids who attend Reynolds High School were evacuated, hands over their head, and the school shooter apparently neutralized, killed. KPTV is one of our affiliates and we want to just listen in to some of their coverage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From what we heard the location of the shooting. He wasn't anywhere near it. And only one person was hurt. But until you get confirmation, you know, you always kind of wonder. The worst could happen. So --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What has he told you about the scene and what went on in the school today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I actually - Craig (ph) is who talked to him, so I don't really know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He hasn't told anything. I just - I was, you know, just relieved beyond belief to hear his voice and know that he was OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Well, obviously, we're thrilled to hear that. What's your plan now? I understand the --
BANFIELD: All right, as we watch KPTV, we also want to take you to KATU. They were just interviewing - sounds like we just missed it, but they were live interviewing another parent who was texting with a student -- with their family member as this was all actually transpiring. And, clearly, amongst all of the SWAT units and vehicles and police presence, there's also that, ambulances that have been on the scene and then the Life Flight helicopter, which just took off. And again, we're unclear as to whether there was anyone in it.
But we can tell you this, that the Troutdale Police Department did confirm to CNN that, in fact, there were injuries in this shooting. Apparently a semiautomatic weapon involved. And the shooter now dead. The lockdown continues. The evacuation of students continue.
And, actually, there's a staging area for the police as they set up for a live news conference. They're about two and a half minutes overdue from their deadline. They're going to update, they say, all of the most recent facts that they have on hand. And many of the questions surrounding who the shooter is. We don't know if it's a female student, a male student. We don't know if there were additional weapons involved other than the semiautomatic weapons. We also don't know if the injuries involved students or teachers or administrators being shot. That Life Flight helicopter, though, did take off just moments ago. You saw that live on your screen.
Mike Brooks, CNN's law enforcement analyst, is live, watching this along with me.
I'm always relieved, Mike, to see the students walking at a slower pace. And when the officers say it's under control, that certainly does take a big load off. But there is at least one family that is going to be devastated by this today, and that is likely the family of this shooter.
MIKE BROOKS, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely, Ashleigh. And that's - and that's where the investigation is right now, finding out who exactly the shooter is, what was the motive of this shooter. I guarantee you that right now they are probably getting ready to serve a search warrant at the house. You know, take a look at all the social media posts possibly by this person that we - that we happen to always see after we have a shooting like this, Ashleigh. So I'm sure, by the end of the day, we'll know a lot more about that shooter, the motive of that shooter, because only one more day besides today left in the school year. So what was going on that brought this shooter to this high school.
BANFIELD: So upsetting.
Mike, when you saw that Life Flight helicopter taking off just moments ago, it made me wonder, I don't know if there were victims on board, and clearly now I'm just looking at a canine officer who's also responded. This is live, by the way, coverage from one of our affiliates, KPTV. Canine on the scene. And, obviously, there have been dozens of responding entities, law enforcement entities, from sheriff to SWAT to FBI to local police. They just descended upon this incident en masse. It started only an hour and 40 minutes ago or so.
Mike when you see the helicopter take off, do you have any idea what these care flight helicopters are able to actually ferry, how many patients they can take at a time?
BROOKS: They can usually take on - looking at that helicopter, I would say up to two patients most likely to transport. But think about it, Ashleigh, it's been over an hour, hour and some - hour and a half about since this happened. And the Life Flight helicopter, had there been a student or teacher, someone in that school who was suffering from serious trauma from a gunshot wound, they most likely would have already taken them long before now because you look at that (INAUDIBLE) hour, that golden hour from the time something happens till the time you get to a trauma center. That's what they tried to do. That's what the helicopters are there for. And it's been way over an hour now. So, maybe that helicopter is just leaving with nobody inside.
BANFIELD: I sure hope that's the circumstance. I really do. The mayor had told us that he knew the helicopter was there and that
it hadn't left. But now it's gone. And we can tell you this, yes, confirmation of injuries. Yes, confirmation that that shooter is dead. Yes, confirmation it was just one lone actor. And what we're hoping to get is the details behind the why. The why of it all.
After the break, we are expecting that live news conference to get underway by the local police, from Gresham Police Department nearby Troutdale.
Also, you're going to hear from a parent who was texting with her student while this was going on. That's after the break.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BANFIELD: Breaking news. We're awaiting a live news conference from local police in the Portland, Oregon, area, who are about to update us as to a circumstance that began unfolding about an hour and 50 minutes ago. Yet another school shooting. This time at Reynolds High School. A semiautomatic weapon involved. A shooter who is dead. A lone shooter who is dead. And a confirmation from the Troutdale Police Department, where this school exists, that there are, in fact, injuries.
Dozens upon dozens of heavily armed SWAT team member, local police and sheriff, on scene right now. And as we await that news conference, hundreds of parents and onlookers gathering in a local parking lot. There is one area where they're trying to reunite with students. But also wondering what is going on.
We're watching some live pictures from our various affiliates in the region as it looks like many of the officials are finally arriving on the scene to update the media as to the biggest question that is left unanswered, who was the student, male or female? Was there anything else that student brought to the school other than the semiautomatic? Who was injured? How were the people injured that were injured? Students -- were they students who were injured? Were they teachers or administrators? And was there anything that anyone, any witness can report, as to a motive behind yet again another school shooting. This one, again, in Troutdale, Oregon.
We've been listening in on some of the live interviews as well. Some of these parents speaking to the media as they get phone calls from their own kids attending Reynolds High School letting them know that they are indeed OK. In fact, I want you to listen in, while we're waiting for this police news conference to begin, to one set of parents that was speaking live with KGW as the phone rang and they got that call every parent wants to get in a circumstance like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello. Good. That's what we were waiting for. That's OK. I'm -- yes. Yes, I know, that's what they were saying. So I am glad to hear from you. All right. So are you almost ready to get on the bus to come down here or what's the deal? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can breathe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, that's going to take a while. So, good. Thank you for calling. I know. I'm sure people are blowing up your phone too, just like they're blowing up mine. So -- well, I'll get a hold of your mom because I - I let -- we let her know that -- what's going on. So she's going to come down here too. So -- OK. So, good. I'm glad you're OK. All right. I love you. Bye.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How good is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we were sure he was OK, but, you know, to finally confirm it, you know, just like you guys, you got to confirm everything, reports, and so -- much better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: The bittersweetness of seeing an interview like that. Parents getting a call from their son at Reynolds High School that he indeed is OK after one other of the students there descended upon that school at 8:07 local time, just as classes were underway, and as we're told began shooting with a semiautomatic weapon. Injuries confirmed. Deaths, however, avoided in this one, except for one death, and that is the shooter himself. There will be a set of parents that gets that news, if they haven't already. And that will clearly be devastating as well. Hearing a parent say -- closing out a phone call with their son saying "I love you." We all do it, but never do we have that kind of emotion in their throats as we do.
Mike Brooks, I want to bring you in as well.
As the police get ready for this kind of a news conference, clearly even they, at this point, at such an early hour, the proximity to the event itself, they can't know all the details yet.
BROOKS: No, they don't know all the details yet. They probably have a pretty good idea of who the shooter is and what the motive is right now, Ashleigh. But I find it interesting, you look at all the different jurisdictions, and we heard the mayor talk about all the different police. You see Portland Police there. That's, you know, the -- Troutdale is about 17 miles east of Portland. You see the FBI. You see Oregon State Police. And I'm just very impressed with the coordinated response by all the different agencies in this area coming to this active shooter, which says to me they've trained on this before, they have a great mutual aid pact and they know what they're doing.
BANFIELD: Yes. And I'm just watching as -- as these officials are show up on the scene. And, look, this is a fluid situation as the police officers, you know, approach the live mics. This is the Gresham Police Department. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything's OK there? Everybody ready? OK.
This is a developing situation. We still have a lot of local agencies on scene processing the investigation. I have Chief Scott Anderson with the Troutdale Police Department. He's going to do a short statement for you. Once he talks, after he completes what he says, we have Linda Florence, who's the superintendent of the Reynolds School District. She'll have a few words. After that, I'll come back up and talk with you a little more. OK? So here's Chief Scott Anderson.
CHIEF SCOTT ANDERSON, TROUTDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Thank you.
Today is a very, very tragic day for the city of Troutdale and Reynolds School District. A gunman entered the high school this morning, shot one student. Unfortunately, that student has died. The gunman was located and the gunman is also deceased.