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Sheriff: Death of teen in Jefferson apparently suicide

Sheriff: Death of teen in Jefferson apparently suicide

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Sheriff deputies and Jefferson Fire units surround an area of a taped-off athletic field on the Jefferson High School and middle school Campus.

JEFFERSON — A 17-year-old boy apparently died by suicide Monday morning on the campus of Jefferson High School, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The school district was on lockout Monday morning while law enforcement and medical agencies investigated reports of a weapons incident on campus. Authorities responded to the campus at about 9:49 a.m.

The teen died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was found on the baseball fields adjacent to the school, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office.

Jefferson schools remained in lockdown until 1 p.m., when high school students were sent home for the day, said Amber Hopkins, executive secretary for the district.

She added that the elementary and middle schools resumed their normal schedules after 1 p.m.

During the lockout, classes went on as usual within the buildings but no one was allowed in or out.

A letter about the incident was emailed to parents of Jefferson students, and a physical letter also will be given to each student to give to their families. That letter was scheduled to be posted to the Facebook pages for both the high school and the district, Hopkins said.

“Grief counselors will be on site at the high school library until 9 p.m. … That’s for anyone in the community,” Hopkins said.

The high school is at 2200 Talbot Road SE.

The Sheriff's Office, the Oregon State Police and the Jefferson Fire District were present Monday morning outside Jefferson High School and Jefferson Middle School, which have adjoining campuses.

Police tape marked off part of an athletic field behind the two upper division schools. Firefighters closed Talbot Road, which runs in front of Jefferson High School, between about 9:50 and 10:15 a.m. until Marion County deputies could arrive. 

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