America rocked by latest in string of school shootings

A teenage gunman armed with a rifle has shot and killed a 14-year-old student and injured a teacher before killing himself at an US high school, authorities said.

America rocked by latest in string of school shootings

A teenage gunman armed with a rifle has shot and killed a 14-year-old student and injured a teacher before killing himself at an US high school, authorities said.

The violence in Oregon took place less than a week after a gunman opened fire on a college campus in neighbouring Washington state, killing a 19-year-old man and wounding two others.

It follows a string of mass shootings that have disturbed the nation, including one on Sunday in Nevada that left two Las Vegas police officers and a civilian dead.

After the shooting stopped at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, near the city of Portland, police spotted the suspect in a toilet.

Officers used a robotic camera to investigate and discovered the suspect was dead, and that he had likely killed himself, Troutdale police spokesman Sgt Carey Kaer said.

His victim was identified as freshman Emilio Hoffman, who was “loved by all,” police chief Scott Anderson said at a news conference. He said Emilio was found in the boys’ locker room.

US 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.

That was despite the December 2012 killings of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, that shocked the nation.

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.

Mr Obama conceded he was ashamed as an American – and terrified as a parent - that the United States cannot find it in its soul a means of stopping shooting sprees.

Barring a fundamental shift in public opinion, Mr Obama said, “it will not change”.

The president added: “My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.”

And Mr Obama pointed out that no developed nation on earth would put up with mass shootings that happen now once a week and disappear from the news within a day, Mr Obama said – no nation except America.

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