Tuesday 17 October 2017

'Lucky one' spared by Oregon gunman tells of massacre

Police officers inspect bags as students and staff are evacuated from campus following a shooting incident at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Sullivan/The News-Review
Police officers inspect bags as students and staff are evacuated from campus following a shooting incident at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Sullivan/The News-Review
Umpqua Community College interim president Rita Cavin speaks to the media after a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Police officers stand guard near the site of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Umpqua Community College alumnus Donice Smith (L) is embraced after she said one of her former teachers was shot dead, near the site of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg,Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
People gather for a candlelight vigil at Stewart Park in Roseburg, Ore., after a shooting with multiple fatalities occurred at Umpqua Community College, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian via AP)
First responders transport an injured person following a shooting incident at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. A gunman opened fire on Thursday at a community college in Oregon, killing 13 people and wounding some 20 others before he was shot to death by law enforcement, in the latest mass killing to rock a U.S. school, the state attorney general and county sheriff said. REUTERS/Michael Sullivan/The News-Review NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Police officers stand guard near the site of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Umpqua Community College interim president Rita Cavin pauses as she speaks to the media after a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Police cruisers block the entrance to the site of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A student singled out by Oregon college gunman Christopher Harper-Mercer as the "lucky one" to survive and deliver a package to police has spoken for the first time about the massacre.

In a written statement, Mathew Downing, 18, said his ears were already ringing from previous shots fired when Harper-Mercer entered the Umpqua Community College classroom on October 1 and he thought what was happening "couldn't be real".

Mr Downing said Harper-Mercer had two handguns that he reloaded during the incident and that at one point was "firing on people who were just lying there".

One student picked up a desk to defend herself but Harper-Mercer fired at her anyway, hitting her in the leg, he said.

Mr Downing said that after Harper-Mercer was hit by police gunfire, he lay down and shot himself in the head.

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