Friday 18 August 2017

Oregon shooting: These are the tragic victims

Families, friends grieve for Oregon college massacre victims

Lucero Alcaraz, middle, with her older sister Maria, left. Maria Leticia Alcaraz/Facebook
Lucero Alcaraz, middle, with her older sister Maria, left. Maria Leticia Alcaraz/Facebook
Larry Levine, 67, was a creative writing teacher at UCC and killed by the gunman on Thursday.
Rebecka Carnes
Trevon Taylor
Lucas Eibel
Kim Saltmarsh Dietz

By Laila Kearney

LARRY LEVINE, 67, was a college English instructor with a love of fly fishing. Lucero Alcaraz, 19, was an honors student with hopes of becoming a pediatric nurse. Rebecka Carnes, 18, was a teenager fresh out of high school, excited about her future.

A photo of a smiling Carnes posted to social media on Friday showed her holding up a sign on graduation day that read, "And so the adventure begins..."

Chris Harper Mercer who has been identified by US media as the gunman in Oregon shooting in which at least nine people died and dozens more were wounded
Chris Harper Mercer who has been identified by US media as the gunman in Oregon shooting in which at least nine people died and dozens more were wounded

But Carnes, along with Levine and Alcaraz, were among nine people shot and killed in a rampage at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, on Thursday morning by gunman Chris Harper-Mercer, 26.

Mercer stormed into a classroom at the college and executed people after asking them about their religion. In addition to those killed, another nine were injured.

Read more: Oregon shooting: Troubled gunman was carrying six guns and wearing body armour

Harper-Mercer, who authorities said left a cache of weapons at the crime scene and at his home in nearby Winchester, about 170 miles (273 km) south of Portland, was killed in a gunfire exchange with police.

Kristen Sterner, left, and Carrissa Welding, students of Umpqua Community College, embrace each other during a vigil for those killed at the college (AP)
Kristen Sterner, left, and Carrissa Welding, students of Umpqua Community College, embrace each other during a vigil for those killed at the college (AP)
A woman is comforted after a shooting at Umpqua Community College (AP)
Friends and family wait for students at the local fairgrounds after the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College (AP)
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the shooting, in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House (AP)
People take part in candle light vigil following a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

Few details about the shooter's motive and with the school have emerged. Law enforcement officials named all victims late on Friday.

Along with Carnes, Levine and Alcaraz, Quinn Cooper, 18; Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; Lucas Eibel, 18; Jason Johnson, 33; Sarena Moore, 44; and Treven Anspach, 20, were killed, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

"I don't know how we're going to move forward without Quinn," Cooper's family said in a statement released by the sheriff's office. "No one should ever feel the pain that we are feeling."

Read more: Oregon shooting: Hero veteran shot seven times

Before any announcement, friends gathered to mourn Levine, who was teaching in the classroom where the shooting occurred.

Levine, a native New Yorker, had published articles in fly fishing magazines and had written more than one unpublished novel, a friend, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

On social media on Friday, family members of the dead were posting messages about their lost loved ones.

"Sister, I miss you, I love you, and I wish I could see you walk through the front door right this second," Maria Alcaraz, who identified herself as the older sister of Lucero Alcaraz, wrote on Facebook. "I'm full of anger, pain, sadness, regret that I didn't get the chance to see her or prevent this from happening."

Maria Alcaraz said her sister was an exceptional student who had received scholarships to pay in full her community college education.

The family of Rebecka Carnes, who went by "Becka," said on Facebook that the teenager had just started a new job and began classes this week to eventually become a dental hygienist.

Read more: 'Deeply distressing' Oregon school killer was 'influenced by IRA images' - Justice Minister

"I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to have watched Becka grow up," cousin Lisa Crawford wrote. "This isn't how life is supposed to work."

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