Oregon shooting: Gunman dead after college rampage
The man who opened fire at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College on Thursday is dead, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin told reporters.
No police officers were injured, but preliminary information indicates 10 people were killed and more than 20 others injured in the shooting, according to Oregon State Police spokesman Bill Fugate.
Officers and the gunman exchanged fire at the Roseburg campus. The shooter was a 20-year-old man, according to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.
“It’s been a terrible day,” said Hanlin. “At this point, it’s a very active scene. It’s a very active investigation.” A law enforcement official told CNN four guns believed to have belonged to the suspect were recovered at the scene.
“We arrived to find multiple patients in multiple classrooms. Law enforcement was on scene and had the shooter neutralized,” said Douglas County Fire Marshal Ray Shoufler.
He told CNN that two patients died while being transported to a hospital.
Mercy Medical Center posted on Twitter that it had received 10 patients from Thursday’s shooting. The extent of their injuries was not known.
Three female victims were at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, about 70 miles north of the shooting scene, according to a hospital spokeswoman Thursday afternoon.
The shooting appears to have started in one building before the gunman moved to the school’s science building, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. Those killed and wounded were found in at least two classrooms.
ATF agents were on scene and canine teams were en route to search for explosives, firearms casings and ammunition, a spokesman said. FBI agents were also en route, officials said Thursday.
Police search students and staff at the school.
‘I’m so insignificant’
According to the source close to the investigation, authorities are looking at social media posts between a person they believe may have been the shooter, and others.
The conversation happened Wednesday night on 4chan.
In it, the writer talks about planning to carry out a shooting. Others egg him on, giving him suggestions on how to do it, and the type of weapons to use.
The responses are mixed — with some users characterizing the would-be gunman as a pathetic loser. Others called him a twisted hero.
In the posts, there is a reference to the UC Santa Barbara shooter, who wrote a manifesto and videoed himself before opening fire a year ago.
“This is the only time I’ll ever be in the news. I’m so insignificant,” reads an apparent post by the would-be Oregon gunman.
‘This is so out of character’
Roseburg is a city of about 22,000 people located about 70 miles south of Eugene, Oregon, and some 180 miles south of Portland.
The school itself is up on a hill outside the city center, according to Rick Francona, a CNN military analyst who lives nearby. Francona said that logging is a big industry in the region, which is fairly rural but easily accessible from Interstate 5.
“This is so out of character for this whole area,” he said.
News of the shooting quickly reached Washington, with the state’s senior senator, Ron Wyden, visibly shaken and Sen. Jeff Merkley tweeting that he was praying for the victims and their families.
U.S. President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation and will continue to receive updates throughout the day.
A picturesque campus in the North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College prides itself on a “a peaceful, safe atmosphere, and year-round recreational activities,” according to its website.
It’s not a traditional institution of higher learning, as the average age of its 13,600 students was 38 during the 2013-2014 school year. Only 740 of those were full time, 2,437 were part time and more than 10,000 fell under the umbrella of “community education.”
It first began teaching classes out of rented facilities in 1961. Elton and Ruth Jackson donated 98.5 acres to house the campus in 1965.