A gunman opened fire today on several young people outside an alternative high school in Portland, Oregon, wounding four and fleeing on foot with two other people, police tell the AP. The victims are all students at Rosemary Anderson High School or in affiliated job programs: a 16-year-old girl in critical condition; two males, 17 and 20, in serious condition; a 20-year-old male in serious condition; and a 19-year-old female who was lightly grazed and treated on the scene. The father of a fifth victim, a 16-year-old girl, tells the Oregonian that his daughter is in surgery. Police suspect the shooting is gang-related and say a dispute may have erupted before the bullets started flying.
Eye-witness accounts are piecemeal so far, with one student saying she saw a male victim lying on the ground with "blood coming out of his stomach. It was scary." Another says a male student ran into the school holding open his coat and yelling, "Oh my god, did I just get shot?" Friends and family waiting outside the Legacy Emanuel Health Center, where victims are in surgery, are talking about the shock of gun violence. "It doesn't make any sense," says the 40-year-old aunt of a victim. "It's not like it was when we were kids." Portland police say gang violence rose over the summer but law enforcement lacks resources to deal with it. Rosemary Anderson High School serves students from troubled backgrounds, including those who are homeless, have single parents, dropped out, or were expelled.