Friday, October 2, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Mass Shooting At Umpqua Community College In Oregon, 13 Reported Dead, Shooter Identified


Mass Shooting At Umpqua Community College In Oregon, 10 Reported Dead

The shooter reportedly had four guns.


Ten people were killed and seven were wounded Thursday in a shooting at a small community college in Roseburg, Oregon.


Students, staff and faculty are evacuated from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, after a deadly shooting.

Students, staff and faculty are evacuated from Umpqua Community College after a deadly shooting Thursday. As many as 10 people were killed and 20 injured when a shooter opened fire at Oregon's Umpqua Community College on Thursday.

Sheriff John Hanlin said Thursday evening that the toll had been revised downward from the earlier figures of 13 dead and at least 20 wounded. Names of the victims won't be released for at least a day, he said. 


Police search students outside Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, following a deadly shooting at the college.

Chris Haper-Mercer

THE KILLER


Umpqua Gunman Chris Harper-Mercer Hated Religion Online


Hanlin said earlier that officers had "neutralized" and killed the shooter during an exchange of gunfire in a campus building at Umpqua Community College. 


Authorities respond to a report of a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 


The shooter was identified as Chris Harper Mercer, 26, according to The New York Times and other news outlets, citing unidentified sources.


CNN said authorities found three handguns and an assault weapon.


An official told CNN he appeared ready to put up a fight, with body armor and stash of ammunition. Hanlin declined to reveal any information about the shooter. 


"Today in southern Oregon is not a good afternoon," Hanlin said. "It's been a terrible day." 


"This is a small community," the sheriff added. "A lot of our friends and family attend this college. I personally know a number of people I work with that had very strong concerns about the welfare for loved ones going to school there." 


A woman is comforted as friends and family wait for students at the local fairgrounds after a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 

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).

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and UCC interim president Rita Cavin attened a vigil later that night at Stewart Park in Roseburg.


In a blog linked to that identity, Harper-Mercer expressed admiration for Roanoke shooter Vester Flanagan.


"In our sorrow, we will remember and honor those lost today," Brown said. "And they will forever be in our hearts. May peace be with you."


Authorities carry a shooting victim away from the scene after a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 


Students were transported to a nearby fairground, according to a statement from the sheriff's office. Law enforcers searched buildings and cars on campus, Hanlin said.


Nearby Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg said that it has received 10 patients from the shooting.


Hannah Miles, center, is reunited with her sister Hailey Miles, left, and father Gary Miles, right, after a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.


President Obama Adesses Mass Shooting At Umpqua Community College

FULL SPEECH: President Obama Angrily Addresses UCC Oregon Shooting

Three additional victims were taken to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, about an hour north of the site of the shooting.


The hospital said on Twitter that the victims were all female and between the ages of 18 and 34, and quoted a doctor who said that an "army" of doctors and nurses had volunteered to help. The hospital later said two of the victims were in serious condition and one was critical.


Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin addresses the media following a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 

Students, staff and faculty are evacuated from campus after Thursday's deadly shooting.
Several media reports on Thursday afternoon indicated that before opening fire, the gunman ordered students onto the ground and asked them to identify their religion, according to an 18-year-old student who witnessed the shooting.

The New York Times cited the student's account of events in a post that was later taken down to attribute the interview with the student to The News-Review of Roseburg, Oregon.


The campus, located about 70 miles south of Eugene, was reportedly on lockdown after 10:45 a.m Pacific time. The shooting took place in classrooms in Snyder Hall, according to CNN.


People hold signs for free rides as friends and family wait for students at the local fairgrounds after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.

Umpqua Community College is a 100-acre campus located on the North Umpqua River. Hanlin noted in Thursday's press conference that the school is the only higher education facility in Douglas County. UCC's website crashed following the shooting.


A bullet casing is marked at the scene of a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 

The campus will be closed for all activities through the weekend, Rita Cavin, interim president of UCC, said at a press conference, but intends to reopen on Monday. "It's a very tight-knit community and the whole community rose to the occasion today," she said. 


Officers direct traffic on a road leading to the Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg, Ore., after a deadly shooting Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.

"I feel awful," Cavin added.

Cavin noted that all campus security officers were on campus Thursday, none of whom were armed, as is campus policy.


A patient is wheeled into the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Ore., following a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.

John Parker, a 36-year-old Air Force veteran who told HuffPost that he was on campus at the time, said he learned of the shooting from law enforcement officers sweeping through campus buildings. Parker said he was carrying a concealed handgun.


Charles Porter, left, and Joseph Baldi, right, are reunited with Scott Leonard, center, after a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 

"I told the officer about the gun on my hip," Parker said. "He searched me, took the gun, escorted me back to my car and gave me my gun back and told me to have a nice day." 


Students are running everywhere. Holy God.
— Kayla Marie (@KP_KaylaMarie) October 1, 2015


President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation by Lisa Monaco, his homeland security adviser, according to a White House official, who said he would to receive updates throughout the day. The president gave a public statement about the shooting on Thursday evening.


Students, staff and faculty are evacuated from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. after a deadly shooting Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 


"We've become numb to this," Obama said. "This is something we should politicize, it is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic."


People gather at a road block near the entrance to Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, following a deadly shooting at the campus.


“I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences ... but based on my experiences as president I can’t guarantee that," the president added. "And that’s terrible to say. And it can change.”


Authorities respond to a report of a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.


According to Everytown for Gun Safety, the mass killing is the 45th shooting at a school so far this year.



Police search students outside Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, following a deadly shooting at the southwestern Oregon community college. 


Umpqua Community College


People wait for information at the local fairgrounds after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.


People wait for information at the local fairgrounds after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 


Friends and family are reunited with students at the local fairgrounds after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 


A woman speaks on her cellphone as friends and family are reunited with students at the local fairgrounds after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.


Friends and family are reunited with students at the local fairgrounds after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.


Friends and family wait for students at the local fairgrounds after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. 


Oregon College Shooter Identified As Chris Harper Mercer

Reports say the shooter had three handguns and an assault weapon.


Law enforcement officials have identified Chris Harper Mercer as the person responsible for the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, according to multiple news reports.

He was armed with four weapons -- three handguns and one assault weapon, according to NBC News' Pete Williams. Mercer, 26, was not a student at the school, authorities said. They are still working to figure out his connection to UCC, Williams said, and have uncovered "documents that expressed the philosophy of hate." 

At an evening news conference on Thursday, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin refused to confirm the name of the shooter. "I will not name the shooter," Hanlin told reporters. "I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act." 

Hanlin said an official identity will come from the medical examiner's office.

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">Police taped off an Oregon apartment complex listed as Mercer's address.</span>

Police taped off an Oregon apartment complex listed as Mercer's address.

Meanwhile, authorities taped off a Winchester, Oregon, apartment complex that was listed as Mercer's address. Bronte Hart, 21, told HuffPost Mercer may have lived above her unit. 

"I don't want to believe there's a guy like that living here. I have kids," said Hart. "I think he lives above me. The guy lives here. It's so messed up."

She said she began to cry when police started taping off the complex, assuming the shooter lived alongside her.

At 7 p.m., law enforcement officers with K-9 units began searching cars in the cordoned off parking lot.  

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">This is apartment complex in Torrance, California, where Mercer and his mother lived before 2011.</span>

This is apartment complex in Torrance, California, where Mercer and his mother lived before 2011.

Mercer's father, Ian Mercer, addressed reporters late Thursday.

"It's been a devastating day, devastating for me and my family," he said. "Shocked is all I can say."


Alleged Gunman's Father: 'Devastating Day'

Before moving to Oregon, Mercer lived with his mother in Torrance, California, old neighbors told HuffPost. They described a reserved young man who did not appear dangerous. 

Brian Clay, who lived across the pool from their apartment, said the Mercers lived there for about a year, and moved away around 2011. Mercer's mother seemed "happy to move," Clay said, although he did not know the reason they left. 

"Chris was kind of reserved, kept to himself mostly," Clay said. "Sometimes I would see his mom come out and complain about kids playing outside."

Clay described a routined man who did not appear dangerous. "The way Chris carried himself was like ex-military almost -- combat boots, camo pants, white shirt, brown shirt. Every day it was the same thing".  


"He never showed guns or talked about guns," Clay said. "[There was] no fear of him when he was here. He was just our neighbor."  


Another neighbor, Derrick McClendon, said he was shocked to learn of Mercer's alleged involvement in Thursday's shooting.


McClendon described the Mercers has having "kept to themselves." 

"I didn't speculate any danger with them," he said. "We are all shocked around here, comes definitely as a surprise. I'm still in disbelief. I did not pick up that kind of behavior from him to just pick up and kill somebody".


"Chris told me he was over 20 years old when we talked, but his mindset was like a teenager -- no girlfriend no friends. That was the only thing that was a concern to me, but that's his business," McClendon said.


Unconfirmed social media accounts tell a different story. Profiles of Mercer contain photos of the Irish Republican Army, a revolutionary group that has historically been rooted in acts of violence.

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">Jessica Vazquez, left, hugs her aunt Leticia Acaraz as they await word on Acaraz's daughter at the local fairgrounds after a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)</span>

Jessica Vazquez, left, hugs her aunt Leticia Acaraz as they await word on Acaraz's daughter at the local fairgrounds after a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.


Police shot the gunman to death on Thursday morning after he entered an English classroom and opened fire, then moved to Snyder Hall, killing 10 and wounding as many as seven more.


An unidentified law enforcement official told CNN that three pistols and a rifle were recovered at the scene, and appear to have belonged to the gunman. It's unclear if the guns were obtained legally.


A comment on the web bulletin board 4chan warned of a school shooting in the Northwest on Wednesday, but authorities appear to be unconvinced that the message portended the attack.

“I was in the classroom right next door to the shooter, and I … heard a popping noise, almost like a balloon popping," student Cassandra Walker told CNN in an interview Thursday afternoon.


"We got underneath the tables, one of my fellow classmates went to see what was going on … and the gunman shot her. We locked the doors, turned off the lights, and were pretty much in panic mode. We called 911 and called our loved ones."


Walker estimated Mercer fired 35 to 40 shots. 

President Barack Obama offered his thoughts and prayers to the families affected by the shooting and pushed for "common sense" gun laws.


"We don’t yet know why this individual did what he did," Obama told reporters. "It’s fair to say that anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds, regardless of what they think their motivations might be." 


"But we are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses or want to do harm to other people," the president added. "We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months.”