Police: At least 10 dead after shooter opens fire at community college


A gunman opened fire Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, killing at least 9 people and injuring several more, according to local authorities.

The shooter, who is among the 10 total dead and has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, was killed after exchanging fire with police, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin confirmed in a press conference.

“It’s been a terrible day,” Hanlin said Thursday afternoon. “At this point, it’s a very active scene. It’s a very active investigation.”

Officers first responded to reports of a shooting at the college around 10:40 a.m. local time Thursday. The shooting occurred in Snyder Hall, where science classes are held, The New York Times reported, citing the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department.

Law enforcement told CNN that four guns believed to belong to the suspect were recovered at the scene.

During a press conference Thursday evening, US President Barack Obama offered his condolences to victims of the tragedy before angrily criticizing the government for its continued inaction on gun control.

“There’s been another mass shooting in America,” Obama said. “The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium is routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it – we’ve become numb to this. This is a political choice we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.”

The response to the shooting in Oregon was massive.

A Roseburg resident who lives across the street from the campus told the Oregonian that roughly 20 ambulances and 75 cop cars arrived on scene.

Umpqua Community College Oregon Map

Via Google Maps

After the shooting, the campus was placed on lockdown. Students and faculty were evacuated on buses to the Douglas County Fairgrounds, where they were to be picked up.

UCC has no formal security staff, former UCC President Joe Olson, who retired earlier this year, told the Associated Press. There is only one officer on each shift.

Roseburg is a rural town of about 22,000 people west of the Cascade Mountains and about 180 miles south of Portland, Oregon. The college has about 3,300 full-time students and 16,000 part-time students.

The incident is the 142nd school shooting since a man opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012, according to the organization Everytown for Gun Safety.

“In fact, during President Obama’s second term, a Sunday-to-Saturday calendar week has not passed without a mass shooting incident,” The Washington Post’s Philip Bump reported. Definitions vary, but the Post defines a mass shooting as incidents in which four or more people are shot, so this statistic could include domestic incidents.

FBI Director James Comey said that, based on his discussion with police chiefs around the country, “something very, very worrisome is going on” with violent crime.