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Oregon school shooting nightmare for Lawtonian

“There’s a sense of frustration since Newtown that something needs to be done, but what? I believe in the 2nd Amendment but there has to be something that can be done. We’ve got to figure something out; what we’re doing right now isn’t working.” CODY APINWALL FATHER OF TEEN WHOSE SCHOOL WAS SHOOTING SCENE

A Lawton man awoke to a nightmare Tuesday afternoon when TV footage of a school shooting in Oregon struck too close to home.

One student and an alleged gunman are left dead and parents everywhere are left to consider the question: "What if it happens at my child's school?" 

A Constitution night print-pressman faced his worst fear when he learned about Tuesday morning's shooting at Reynolds High School in Oregon, where his 16-year-old son attends. 

Cody Aspinwall said he woke up and turned his television over to CNN, saw what was happening and was overwhelmed. His son Nathaniel, a high school sophomore, was in the line of fire.

"I saw what was going on and that it was in Troutdale, Ore., and recognized it was his school campus," Aspinwall said. "That's when I went into shock."

Frantically, Aspinwall said he began calling his son and the boy's mother's phones. The chaos of the incident made connecting a tough go, he said. After speaking with Nathaniel's mom, he said he could breathe some sigh of relief. But it truly wouldn't come until he heard his son's voice.

"It took me 35-40 minutes to get a hold of him," Aspinwall said. "There's no describing that feeling of hopelessness, especially since I live so many states away from him." 

"The relief found from hearing his voice, it went from my heart dropping to thank the gods, you know," he said. "All I wanted to do is hug him."

The son told his father how he'd arrived at the school to start a day of finals  this is the last week of classes for the year. Nathaniel told his dad how he saw the suspected shooter being chased by a school security officer into a bathroom. The officer grabbed Aspinwall's son and pushed him into a classroom and then turned to follow the suspect. 

It was later learned that the suspect died in the bathroom. Police have not released the cause of death, though it was confirmed that a rifle was used in the attack that also injured a teacher. Those injuries were non-life-threatening and the teacher was reported to have been treated at the scene.

Nathaniel told his dad that the school was evacuated and all students' backpacks were confiscated and searched. A gun was found and that person was taken into custody, though police reported the incident as separate from the shooting. Aspinwall said rumor on campus was that there were up to three people involved, though police have only released information on one suspect. The uncertainty of the situation and the shock made for confusion.

"I could tell he (Nathaniel) was really shook up about the whole situation, but he's a really strong kid," Aspinwall said. 

The Lawton Constitution

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