Police spokeswoman Jennifer Beals told reporters that a man had been escorted from Cascade Middle School to Eugene when he began to struggle and pull out a weapon. She first said that the shooting had taken place inside the school.
The students were locked in the classroom and the school was closed for about four hours.
The yellow crime scene barricaded the school's main parking lot and a yellow tarp covered the suspect's body a few meters from the entrance. He was not identified immediately.
"No students were hurt, all students are safe," said Bells.
Stephanie Martin is expecting her two children at the Eugene Church, where the University of Oregon is located, 177 km south of Portland. He said that his son, a grade six student, had called to tell him that everything was fine for him and his sister in seventh grade.
Andrew Ramos Aguirre, a grade six student at the school, said that when the news of the shooting spread, his physical education classes soon followed him.
Andrew Ramos-Aguirre said he had not found his mother, who was destroyed when she heard her son's story: "We had to close the room, we had to be really calm, no movement."
"I was scared and nervous because there was an infiltrator in my school," said the boy.
The region experienced one of the first school shootings to take the limelight.
More than 20 years ago, Kinkel, 15, killed his parents before shooting two students and wounding 26 others at Thurston High School in Springfield. Kinkel remains in prison.