Gunman Kills 9, Injures 7 at Oregon Community College
Umpqua Community College had conducted three training exercises with local police in the past two years, but at the time of the shooting, the campus only had one unarmed security officer on duty.
ROSEBURG, Ore.- Students, faculty and staff at Umpqua Community College (UCC) are reeling from a mass shooting that occurred there Oct. 1. The number of persons killed stands at nine (not including the shooter), which is four less than had been initially reported. Seven others were wounded during the shooting, although that number has not been confirmed. The identities of the nine dead victims are Lucero Alcaraz, 19; Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; Treven Taylor Anspach, 20; Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18; Quinn Glen Cooper, 18; Lucas Eibel, 18; Jason Dale Johnson, 34; Lawrence Levine, 67; Sarena Dawne Moore, 34.
The person who opened fire has been identified as a 26-year-old male who was not a student. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, however, would not release the gunman’s name to avoid providing him with further notoriety, reports USA Today. The news source is also reporting that the gunman left behind a document in which he glorified mass killings and lamented his lonely life. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound approximately nine minutes after he started the attack.
Various news sources have reported that the shooter told some of his victims to stand up before asking them if they were Christian. Anyone who said “yes” was shot in the head. If they said “other” or didn’t answer, they were shot somewhere else on their body, usually the leg.
One of the shooting survivors, Chris Mintz, a 30-year-old army veteran, is being hailed as a hero after being shot at least five times while trying to prevent the shooter from entering his classroom. Mintz told his classmates to find safety and told the gunman “You’re not getting by me” before being shot, according to Pastor Dennis Kreiss. Kreiss says Mintz may have saved lives because the shooter didn’t go into his classroom, reports KTLA.
Although some proponents of gun rights have argued the campus is a “gun-free zone,” which they believe may have prompted the shooting or prevented victims from defending themselves, Oregon state law allows people to carry a concealed weapon on college grounds if they have a permit. One student on campus who had a gun with him that day, John Parker, 36, says he didn’t intervene for a number of reasons. Parker says he was far away from the shooting and didn’t have much information on what was going on. He also feared putting himself in danger by confronting the shooter or being mistaken as the shooter by police, reports Fox News. The college’s former president, Joe Olson, who is now retired, says the school had considered arming its officers.
“The campus was split 50-50. We thought we were a very safe campus, and having armed security officers on campus might change the culture,” he told the New York Times.
Authorities initially recovered four firearms from the scene and a ballistic vest, but later found more weapons on campus and at the shooter’s home. In total, the number of firearms the shooter is believed to have possessed is 14, reports WWGP1050.