Multiple deaths reported in shooting at Oregon college in US

Police say at least 10 people die in shooting at community college in Roseburg Oregon

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Injured were transported to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Oregon, on October 1, 2015

Updated Oct 2, 2015

At least 10 people have been killed and 7 others injured in a shooting on Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, county sheriff said.

There were conflicting reports on the number of killed and injured in the shooting, which began around 10.30 am local time (17.30GMT).

Various US media sources identified the shooter as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. Suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement after he killed nine people. The suspect was supposedly using a “long gun”.

Governor Kate Brown, stated that the 20-year-old man has not been identified by authorities.

Douglas County Sheriff, John Hanlin said gunfire exchange took place with the gunman in a classroom in the Synder Hall building of the college. He said 100 police officers responded to the shooting.

"It's been a terrible day," Hanlin said. He did not specify the exact number of people killed or injured.

"This is a peaceful community. We have our share of crime like any community but certainly this is a shock to have this level of a crime," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Douglas County Sheriff’s department, confirmed the shooting at the college in Roseburg. The spokeswoman did not indulge further details.

"Active shooter scene is code 4. Multiple casualties all pt's transported," the Douglas County Fire Department said in a tweet. Multiple ambulances were reported to be on the scene.

US President, Barack Obama voiced his anger and sadness after the shooting and pointed out the lack of progress in the US Congress on gun control, despite mass killings due to school shootings in the recent years.

US President Barack Obama makes a statement about the shootings in Oregon from the White House in Washington on October 1, 2015

"This has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation and the aftermath of it, we've become numb to this." Obama said at the White House in reaction to the shooting.

"We can actually do something about it, but we're going to have to change our laws. It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun," he said urging Congress to pass gun control laws.

"But as I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel," Obama said.

"I hope and pray that I don't have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances. But based on my experience as president, I can't guarantee that. And that's terrible to say. And it can change."

There was no further information on the injured, except that a female has been shot in the chest.

The fire department said on their Twitter page, that people should stay away from the college, which is about 180 miles south of Portland. Students were transported to a nearby fairgrounds by bus.

Students, staff and faculty are evacuated from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, after a deadly at the school on October 1, 2015

A student, Brandy Winter said in a post on Facebook, that she was in a classroom and began running when she heard the gunfire next door.

"I ran to the edge of the campus, down a hill and waited. From talking with a student in the classroom where it happen, almost every person in the room was shot by a man with four guns," Winter said.

"I'm still shaken up ...I can't wrap my mind around this. Please just pray for the families and parents of these students."

Umpqua Community College has about 3,000 students, of which 58 percent are female and 42 percent are male. The average age of the students is almost 38.

Sheriff Hanlin said the college is the only school for higher education in Douglas County and both young people and adults attend the school.

Joe Olson, a former president of the school, said there is no formal security staff at the school and last year it was discussed whether to have armed security guards on campus.

The shooting was the latest in a string of mass shootings at US college campuses, theaters, military bases and churches in recent years.

In June, nine people were killed by the gunman, Dylann Roof at a South Carolina church.

In 2012, a former student at a small Christian college, Oikos University in Oakland, California killed seven students.

In 2007, a student at Virginia Tech University killed 32 people and injured 25 others before he killed himself.

TRTWorld and agencies