‘We expected more:’ Reynolds HS parents outraged over response to shooting scare

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 5:19 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A shooting near a high school campus Monday afternoon caused chaos for students and parents.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office says shortly after noon Monday, there were shots fired right off Reynolds High School’s campus in Columbia Park. The park runs parallel to the school, and kids and parents say many students spend time in this area during the lunch hours.

A statement from the sheriff’s office continued to say by the time deputies arrived, all those involved had took off, but evidence was quickly found that confirmed a shooting had taken place. No injuries were reported.

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A statement from the Reynolds School District says the school wasn’t placed under a lockdown because sheriff’s deputies said the area was safe immediately following the shooting.

Reynolds High School senior, Angelica Leon says she and her friends were outside the school eating lunch, just yards from where the shots rang out. She says someone was on foot in Columbia park shooting at a car.

“Somebody started shooting like a bunch of times,” said Leon. “We all started running. Everybody started running towards the school because everybody always hangs out here during lunch.”

Leon says there was confusion once she got back inside, and the teacher who helped them had called the office, but it took a while for a response.

“Nobody was answering, it took like 5-7 minutes for her to get a hold of somebody,” said Leon. “When we walked to the office everybody was like normal, nobody was doing anything, the school wasn’t locked down.”

Leon’s Mother, Perla Leon says she raced to Reynolds High when she got word of what had happened, and was shocked that the school wasn’t placed under a lockdown. She says this brought grim reminders of the deadly shooting at Reynolds High in 2014 where one student shot and killed another, and injured a teacher.

“Being that we’ve had so many threats and an actual shooting in 2014 when one of the students was actually killed in the locker room, we expected more action from the staff.” Said Leon.

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A spokesperson for the school district says they were following guidance from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office about whether to place the school under a lockdown. The spokesperson also says had the school been placed in a lockdown, the many students outside for lunch may have had a hard time getting back inside.

But for some the shooting was too close for comfort. LeeAnn James lives in a neighborhood adjacent to Reynolds High and says she heard the gunfire from her house, then raced to the school to check on her freshman granddaughter.

“I was absolutely shocked that there were so many kids out and they weren’t gathered up,” said James. “I would’ve expected the school to be on lockdown.”