13 killed in Oregon community college shooting
Published 01/10/2015 | 19:56
A gunman opened fire at an Oregon community college, killing at least 13 people before he died during an exchange of gunfire with police, US authorities said.
The shooting happened at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, about 180 miles south of Portland.
Oregon attorney general Ellen Rosenblum said 13 people are dead. State police spokesman Bill Fugate said that at least 20 others were hurt.
Douglas County sheriff John Hanlin said the 20-year-old gunman was killed during an exchange of gunfire with officers. The sheriff did not say whether the man was killed by officers or took his own life.
A student at the college said the gunman shot her teacher and asked others in her classroom about their religion before firing more bullets.
Eighteen-year-old Kortney Moore of Rogue River told the Roseburg News-Review newspaper that she was in a writing class when a shot came through a window.
The gunman entered her classroom and told people to get on the ground.
Ms Moore said the man started asking people to stand up and state their religion and then opened fire.
Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg reported that it had received nine patients from the shooting, with more on the way.
The White House said President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation by his Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco. He was to continue receiving updates throughout the day.
Former UCC president Joe Olson, who retired in June after four years, said the school had no formal security staff, just one officer on a shift.
One of the biggest debates on campus last year was whether to post armed security officers on campus to respond to a shooting.
"I suspect this is going to start a discussion across the country about how community colleges prepare themselves for events like this," he said.
The rural town of Roseburg lies west of the Cascade Mountains in an area where the timber industry has struggled. In recent years, officials have tried to promote the region as a tourist destination for vineyards and outdoor activities.