Thursday 22 February 2018

At least 13 shot dead in new mass killing at US college

Alan Martin Roseburg, Oregon

A gunman opened fire at an Oregon community college yesterday, killing at least 13 people and wounding 20 in the latest mass shooting in the US.

The massacre happened at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, about 180 miles south of Portland. The killer was arrested and is now in police custody.

State police Lt Bill Fugate said up to 13 people were dead and up to 30 others hurt.

A photographer for the Roseburg News-Review newspaper said he saw people being loaded into multiple ambulances and taken to the local hospital.

The local fire district advised people via Twitter to stay away from the school. It later tweeted that there were "multiple casualties" but did not elaborate.

The school has about 3,000 students. Its website was down yesterday and calls to the college went unanswered.

The sheriff's office reported on Twitter that it received a call about the scene of the shooting at 10.38am local time.

Students and faculty members were bussed to the nearby Douglas County Fairgrounds for their safety, the sheriff's office said.

The suspect was not identified but CNN reported that it was a man in his late 20s.

Chris Boice, Douglas County Commissioner, said the shooting left about 30 casualties, but he could not immediately say how many of those people died and how many were injured.

Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg said on Facebook that the hospital had received nine patients from the shooting and had been advised that three more were en route.


"We locked our door, and I went out to lock up the restrooms and could hear four shots from the front of campus," UCC Foundation executive director Dennis O'Neill said.

The FBI said agents responded from offices in Medford, Eugene, Salem and Portland.

The 'Oregonian' newspaper said agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also en route to Roseburg.

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.

The congressman who represents the southwest Oregon city said the incident was a "heartbreaking tragedy."

Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio said in a statement that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families.

The shooting is the latest incident of gun violence in the United States, raising demands for more gun control and treatment for the mentally ill.

Recent episodes include the massacre of nine people at a South Carolina church last spring and the killing of five US servicemen in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In 2012, seven students at the small Christian college Oikos University in Oakland, California, were shot dead by a former student, marking the deadliest outburst of violence at US college since April 2007, when a student at Virginia Tech University killed 32 people and wounded 25 others before taking his own life.

Irish Independent

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