TROUTDALE – To some it sounded like fireworks going off inside the school, and to others who heard nothing, it seemed like a drill. Just after 8 a.m. at Reynolds High School, one student was killed and a teacher was wounded by a teen with a rifle.
About an hour after the first reports of an active shooter at the school, police confirmed the lone gunman was dead, and the campus was “stabilized.”
Students were in class for the start of the second-to-last day of the school year.
"I heard three gunshots. I was in the lobby of the gym. My PE teacher came out of her office screaming at another person 'You need to go hide!' Then I heard another shot,” said 15-year-old Abby Moss, a 9th grader at the school.
Moss said she and other students ran into a hallways in the gymnasium and closed the heavy, metal doors.
One student, who was in the computer lab at the time, said they were told to turn off the computers and the lights. “It was really scary. All we heard were silent hallways,” said the student who continued saying the students could then hear the police muffled through the walls for 45 minutes to an hour before the class was evacuated.
Some students thought at first it was a drill. "I'm okay. It was really scary in there. We thought it was a drill, but it was real. The cops came in. I never thought that that would happen,” said Kaitlyn, a student.
“At first I was just like, ‘is this real life?’ Then I knew it was serious,” said another student.
Students tried to be brave for one another when the school was locked down.
"I was trying to, for the most part, I mean there were a lot of, I mean, I personally was in a classroom with a lot of girls. So they were kind of hysterical,” said Taylor, a student. “So I was trying to keep calm, especially when we were being evacuated."
The students were evacuated from the campus with their hands on their heads. Then, they were patted down by police before getting reunited with their parents. (See photo above) They talked about how they all tried to stay calm in the midst of the chaos.
"I think it was more tears of joy that we were all being evacuated. We were just happy we were safe and being taken care of," Taylor said.
"At first I was just like is this real life? I heard screams, then I knew that it was serious," another student added.
"When you see it happen in your own school, with your own friends and you're teachers that you've gotten to know for two or three years, it's intense," said student Devin Christopher.
Afterward, students reflected on how this will change their school and community.
One student said they’ll look at the school differently now.
"I think next year will be a little more prepared and we'll be even stronger than this year because this happened.
We'll know what to prepare for next year,” another student said.