Tue, Jan 27, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Taiwanese student injured in US shooting

RANDOM VIOLENCE Two girls were killed and eight other students injured when a gunman opened fire at a nightclub for young people in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH AP

A Taiwanese high school student was among the injured when a gunman opened fire outside an ­under-21 nightclub in the US late on Saturday.

The attacker opened fire outside the nightclub in Portland, Oregon, killing two girls and wounding seven people, including the Taiwanese student, before shooting himself in what police say might have been a random act of violence.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政) said yesterday the Taiwanese exchange student, surnamed Chang, was not seriously injured, ­according to information he received from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle.

Chen said the office would offer the student any necessary assistance.

A Peruvian exchange student was killed, as was an American girl preparing for a trip as an exchange student. The wounded also included students from Italy, Ecuador, France and Guatemala, officials said.

Detective Mary Wheat, a police spokeswoman, said the shooting did not appear connected to gangs, and there was no indication the man had a relationship with any of the people he shot in front of The Zone nightclub.

A stray bullet hit a man outside a neighboring bar.

Police late on Sunday identified the alleged shooter as Erik ­Salvadore Ayala, 24.

He remained in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital after shooting himself in the head, Wheat said.

Wheat said investigators were trying to determine the shooter’s path to the club, but it did not appear he had been inside it or the nearby bar beforehand. Police seized a car in downtown Portland that is associated with Ayala.

Police have recovered the gun used in the shooting, Wheat said.

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