Radio Sandwell News

Oregon college shooting: Gunman kills nine in Roseburg attack

2015-10-02 12:33:26

Oregon CollegeStudents were reunited with their families at a nearby fairground

Nine people have been killed and seven injured in a shooting at a college in the US state of Oregon, say police.

The gunman, 26, opened fire at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning and was killed in a police shootout.

There were conflicting reports on casualties but Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said 10 dead, including the gunman, was "the best" figure.

Police have not identified the attacker but un-named officers have told US media his name is Chris Harper Mercer.

Mr Hanlin said he would not confirm the name, adding: "I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act."

The gunman was reportedly born in the UK and moved to the US as a young boy.

A man identified as the gunman's father, Ian Mercer, told US media he was "just as shocked as everybody" by his son's actions.

The killer's motive is not known, although police said they were investigating reports that he had warned of his intentions on social media.

Hours after the attack, in which seven were also injured, a visibly frustrated President Barack Obama demanded tighter gun laws, saying prayers are "no longer enough".

Such shootings - and his own response - had become routine, he said, barely concealing his exasperation.

"We are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses or want to do harm to other people.

"But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these mass shootings every few months."

Referring to a BBC interview in which he talked about this, he said countries like the UK and Australia showed that effective legislation was possible.

Obama's 'hopeless' push for gun control

Lorie Andrews, who lives opposite the campus, said she heard what sounded like fireworks and when she came out of her home she saw students streaming out.

"One girl came out wrapped in a blanket with blood on her," she said.

Hannah Miles, 19, said that she and fellow students were led to a nearby book shop, where they hid in a back room.

"No-one really was sure what was going on," she said. "The next thing we knew, there were three or four more gun shots and everybody just looked at each other - and we knew."

The 3,000-student school is located in Roseburg, Oregon, a rural area about 175 miles (280 km) south of Portland.

Hundreds of people gathered for a vigil in a Roseburg park in the evening.

Oregon CollegePolice searched students and their bags after the shooting

Oregon CollegeMore than 100 police officers responded to the scene of the shooting

Oregon CollegePolice said they killed the gunman

Oregon CollegeA vigil was held in a Roseburg park on Thursday evening

In audio from police radio channels an officer can be heard saying the suspect was down and that there were "multiple gunshot wounds" and calling for multiple ambulances to the scene.

The suspect supposedly used a "long gun".

Students were transported by bus to a local fairground to be reunited with their loved ones.

According to Umpqua Community College's website, the average age of students is about 38.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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