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10 dead in southwest Oregon college shooting, including gunman

A gunman opened fire on Umpqua Community College in southwest Oregon on Thursday, killing nine and injuring an additional seven, according to the Associated Press. The shooter, who has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, died after exchanging gunfire with police.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said the names of those killed would not be released until Friday and refrained from revealing any information about the shooter.

“I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act,” Hanlin said.


Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin confirmed on Thursday that 10 people, including the gunman, had been killed in a deadly mass shooting at Umpqua Community College.

Umpqua Community College alumnus Donice Smith (L) is embraced after she said one of her former teachers was shot dead, near the site of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg,Oregon October 1, 2015. A gunman opened fire at a community college in southern Oregon on Thursday, killing 13 people and wounding some 20 others before he was shot to death by police, state and county officials said, in the latest mass killing to rock a U.S. school. There were conflicting reports on the number of dead and wounded in the shooting rampage in Roseburg, which began shortly after 10:30 a.m. local time (1730 GMT).  REUTERS/Steve Dipaola - RTS2O4W

Umpqua Community College alumnus Donice Smith (L) is embraced after she said one of her former teachers was shot dead, near the site of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Photo by Reuters/Steve Dipaola

The New York Times reports that violence was concentrated in a public speaking class in a humanities building and that people fled in panic as shots rang out. The shooting occurred just four days into the school year.

The sun sets in Roseburg, Oregon, the day a 26 year-old shooter killed 9 at Umpqua Community College. Photo by Cat Wise/PBS NewsHour

The sun sets in Roseburg, Oregon, the day a 26 year-old shooter killed 9 at Umpqua Community College. Photo by Cat Wise/PBS NewsHour

Law enforcement officials said the gunman had three weapons, “at least one of them a long gun and the other ones handguns,” according to the Times.


Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon State Superintendent Rich Evans held a press conference earlier on the shooting at Umpqua Community College.

PBS NewsHour’s Cat Wise, on the scene in Roseburg, Oregon, spoke to Sarah Cobb, a 17-year-old student who said she was in the classroom adjacent to the shooting. She described hearing a loud bang next door, like the sound of a book dropping on the floor, she said.

Her teacher approached a closed door connecting the two classrooms and called out: “Are you OK?” At that point, they heard shots fired, and she and her class quickly left the building. Cobb and her classmates gathered at the student center before they were bussed out by officials.

In another classroom, Cassandra Welding “heard a popping noise, almost like a balloon popping,” she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I knew something wasn’t right and so I get down.”

She said the students in her classroom locked the doors, turned off the lights and hid under tables and chairs. “We called 911 and called our parents, our loved ones. … We didn’t know what was going to happen, if those were our last words or not.”

Hannah Miles, 19, said she and other students hid in the back room of a bookshop. “No one really was sure what was going on,” she said, according to the BBC. “The next thing we knew, there were three or four more gun shots and everybody just looked at each other and we knew.”

“We are a community college in the best sense of the word,” said Rita Cavin, Umpqua Community College’s interim president, reported The Oregonian. “Things like this last forever. It’s an emotional scar for the college.”

Authorities responded to the scene after first receiving a call at 10:38 a.m.

Photo by Michael Sullivan/News-Review

A group of people are searched following the shooting at Umpqua Community College. Photo by Michael Sullivan/News-Review

President Barack Obama addressed the shooting in a press conference Thursday evening.

“We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these mass shootings every few months,” the president said.


President Barack Obama addressed today’s deadly mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

Umpqua Community College is located near Roseburg, Oregon, about 180 miles south of Portland, Oregon. The school has enrolled about 3,300 full-time students and another 16,000 part-time students.

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Federal agents dispatched bomb-sniffing units to the campus.

Students and staff were bussed to the Douglas County Fairgrounds, where Red Cross is treating them. As they departed campus, authorities searched their bags, according to News-Review photojournalist Michael Sullivan.

Reactions to the shooting emerged on social media, from Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has ordered state flags to fly at half-staff.

You can see updates from her and other officials, journalists and people on the ground by following the list below.


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