FONT

MORE STORIES


UPDATE: 14 weapons, lots of ammunition recovered by investigators



TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - A black heart was taped to a railing at Providence Park Thursday afternoon before the NWSL championship match to honor the victims who died in the Umpqua Community College shooting near Roseburg.

UPDATE SATURDAY:

A spokesperson for the shooter's family released a statement.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific events that unfolded on Thursday, October 1. Our thoughts, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of the families of those who died and were injured."

The Medical Examiner officially ruled the shooter's death a suicide.

In a press release sent Saturday afternoon by Sheriff John Hanlin, he said Oregon State Police are conducting an investigation on the officer involved in the shooting.

Douglas County District Attorney Rick Wesenberg said it is his job to review all deadly force incidents.

"It is my understanding that the officer-involved shooting investigation being conducted by the Oregon State Police is nearing conclusion," Wesenberg said in a press release. "I expect to be presented with the case early next week. Once I receive the case, I will do a thorough review and make a determination on whether the use of force was justified."

UPDATE FRIDAY: Celinez Nunez, a federal Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms assistant special agent in charge, told reporters Friday. Oct. 2, that investigators recovered 14 weapons connected with the shooting suspect Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer.

The weapons came from both the Umpqua Community College campus and Harper-Mercer’s apartment in Winchester, a couple miles from the college campus. They did not provide details about each weapon.

Nunez said that at the college investigators recovered five pistols and a rifle. At the apartment, they found three pistols, four rifles and a shotgun.

A flak jacket with steel plates held five ammunition magazines was recovered lying next to one of the rifles inside the school, she said. Investigators also recovered a significant amount of ammunition at the apartment.

UPDATE FRIDAY: Law enforcement officials are now saying that Christopher Harper-Mercer was a student at Umpqua Community College. He was enrolled in teacher Lawrence Levine's writing class where most of the shooting took place.

ORIGINAL STORY: A 26-year-old Winchester man has been identified as the shooter in Thursday morning's deadly rampage that killed 10 people and wounded nine others on the Umpqua Community College campus in Douglas County that shocked the Southern Oregon city of Roseburg.

COURTESY OF MYSPACE - Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer posed with a rifle on his MySpace page. The 26-year-old man was identified as the suspect in Thursday's shooting on the Umpqua Community College near Roseburg.Law enforcement officials said Thursday evening that Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer was the man who fired shots near and inside one of the campus classroom buildings. He lived in an apartment just south of the North Umpqua River, a little more than a mile from the community college campus. Harper-Mercer's Myspace site included a photo with him holding a rifle. In a dating site profile, Harper-Mercer wrote that he was a teetotaller who lived with parents. He also said he was a conservative Republican who was spiritual, not religious.

(UPDATE THURSDAY: Originally 13 people were thought to be killed and about 20 wounded in the shooting. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin told reporters at about 4:50 p.m. that 10 people were killed and seven wounded. Gov. Kate Brown told reporters Thursday afternoon that the suspect was a 20-year-old man. She was incorrect.)

Many of the wounded, some who were shot several times, were taken by ambulance and Life Flight helicopters to hospitals in Roseburg and Springfield.

“This is a tragedy and an anomaly,” said Dr. Rita Cavin, who became interim president of Umpqua Community College in June after nearly 40 years as an educator in Oregon and California. “We have a beautiful warm, loving campus, and we intend to keep it that way.”

During an evening press conference, Cavin praised the community response and the outpouring of support from people across the county.

"This has been a long, sad day at UCC," Cavin said.

Portland and national school officials react to Umpqua shooting

“It is crazy and weird to see Roseburg on the map on national television like this,” said Steve Patterson, a Roseburg School District board member for the past five years, whose son attends the college but wasn’t on campus Thursday morning.

“This is something that the community unfortunately, and the world that we live in, has been preparing some kind of tragedy response for a while. Now that the unthinkable has happened in our community, we’re all just in shock.”

Roseburg resident Lorelei O’Connor said the tragedy brought out the best in neighbors and people with little connection to the city.

When O’Connor heard about the shooting, she raced next door to see if her neighbor’s daughter — a UCC student — was safe.

“I cried when I found out she was OK,” O’Connor said.

In addition to local residents who jumped in to help others, O’Connor said a Salvation Army representative from Seattle was headed to the city to help feed the dozens of law enforcement officers who were still on the UCC campus investigating the shooting.

“Many local businesses are coming together offering sandwiches,” O’Connor said. “Three Subway sandwich stores made sandwiches for (Mercy Medical Center). Fred Meyer and Albertsons are putting together over 100 sandwiches to go up to the college. I'm making chili to bring down to the police department and the meat store here gave me the ground beef.

“Almost immediately several churches opened to provide comfort and support.

“There are many heavy hearts here tonight.”

Hundreds of people gathered in Roseburg’s Stewart Park for a candlelight vigil Thursday night. Portland city officials hosted a City Hall vigil at the same time to honor the victims of the college shooting.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Mourners, religious and political leaders filled the City Hall plaza for a Thursday night candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Umpqua Community College shootings.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Rabbi Moshe Wilheim stands with mourners during a candlelight vigil at a Thursday night City Hall for the victims of the Umpqua Community College shootings.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Alisha Sprague, Adam Todd and Joseph Mabbott observe a moment of silence during a Thursday night candlelight vigil at Portland City Hall for the vicitims of the Umpqua Community College shooting.

An angry president

The shooting was reported at about 10:30 a.m. to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement officers from several agencies sped to the campus north of Roseburg to help in the incident.

The campus was locked down.

COURTESY OF MICHAEL SULLIVAN/ROSEBURG NEWS-REVIEW - Umpqua Community College students and their families were reunited hours after the shooting on campus.Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said Harper-Mercer was killed outside one of the campus buildings in a confrontation with the first officers to arrive. Law enforcement radio calls reported that the suspect fired on officers as they arrived at the campus building.

The Roseburg News-Review reported that the campus was “pure chaos” shortly after the shooting. Some students hid for more than an hour in classrooms, offices, storage closets and other buildings as law enforcement officers searched the campus.

By late Thursday afternoon, President Obama spoke to reporters in the White House about the shooting, calling for a national conversation about gun violence.

“I’ve been to Roseburg,” Obama said during a short, emotional speech in the White House briefing room. “There are really good people there.

"In the coming days, we’ll learn about the victims — young men and women who were studying and learning and working hard, their eyes set on the future, their dreams on what they could make of their lives. And America will wrap everyone who’s grieving with our prayers and our love.

"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’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America — next week, or a couple of months from now."

COURTESY OF MICHAEL SULLIVAN/ROSEBURG NEWS-REVIEW - At least 20 people were wounded, and 13 killed, in the Thursday, Oct. 1, shooting on the Umpqua Community College campus north of Roseburg.

‘Very frightening for a lot of people’

Umpqua Community College is a two-year school about six miles north of Roseburg with about 3,300 full-time and 16,000 part-time students. The college has 16 buildings on its 100-acre campus near the North Umpqua River.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said the first emergency calls about the shooting began at about 10:38 a.m. The suspect was seen shooting into Snyder Hall. Emergency dispatchers told responding deputies and officers that the suspect was outside the classroom and had shot at least one young woman, possibly more.

Witnesses said the man fired a handgun outside at least one building and went into the building, firing more shots.

COURTESY OF MICHAEL SULLIVAN/ROSEBURG NEWS-REVIEW - Douglas County sheriff's deputies cleared buildings at Umpqua Community College Thursday, Oct. 1, after a shooting that killed an estimated 13 people and wounded about 20 others.The News-Review reported that the suspect went into Snyder Hall, asked students to stand and tell him their religion, and then began shooting at them.

Hanlin said the incident was troubling because his deputies and other law enforcement officers know many people who attend classes at the college. An estimated 100 officers were on the college campus to investigate the incident, he said.

“I’m sure its very frightening for a lot of people who were responding,” Hanlin told reporters. “A lot of our family and friends attend this college.”

Gov. Kate Brown planned to travel to Roseburg Thursday afternoon. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” she told reporters.

By about noon, law enforcement officers, including some from the Department of Homeland Security, were clearing campus buildings, walking students and administration staff out of the area and searching backpacks and bags.

Students and staff were taken by bus to Douglas County Fairgrounds, several miles from the campus.

By 1:30 p.m., most of the buildings were cleared, with officers escorting students and others to waiting buses.

The FBI's Portland Division also sent agents and specialty personnel to the college from offices in Medford, Eugene, Salem and Portland.

As television news helicopters buzzed overhead, law enforcement officers asked the Federal Aviation Administration to close the airspace for about 10 miles around the campus.

COURTESY OF MICHAEL SULLIVAN/ROSEBURG NEWS-REVIEW - Students were escorted from campus buildings and their belongings were searched after the shooting at Umpqua Community College campus north of Roseburg.

Not first campus shooting

Roseburg School District Board Member Steve Patterson said the Southern Oregon city of about 21,200 was stunned by the shooting. His son, Ryan Patterson, spent most of the day calling or texting friends for updates and to make sure they were not hurt in the shooting.

Shortly after the shooting was reported, an automated phone message was sent to Roseburg School District parents, warning them of the incident but assuring them that no other schools were affected. No elementary, middle or high schools were locked down because of the shooting, Patterson said. The closest elementary school, Winchester School, is across the river from the UCC campus and was not in any danger, he said.

This isn’t the first time that Roseburg parents confronted the shock of a campus shooting. In February 2006, a 15-year-old Roseburg High School student was wounded in a shooting on the high school campus. The student who fired the shot fled to a nearby restaurant parking lot, where he surrendered to police.



KOIN News 6, Forest Grove Editor Nancy Townsley and the Roseburg News-Review contributed to this report.

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine