• At least 10 people are dead and at least 20 are wounded after officers responded at around 10:40 a.m. local time to reports of a shooting at Umpqua Community College
• The gunman, reportedly armed with as many as four guns, is dead, authorities confirm
• The shooter, who has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, had allegedly posted a “warning” online ahead of the attack
• Multiple law enforcement agencies are on the scene
• Local hospitals are preparing for a “disaster-level response” as the victims are transported for medical treatment
• Sarah Schreiber, a clerk with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, tells PEOPLE that “students and staff are being moved to the Fairgrounds and there is no threat at this time”
• Mercer reportedly asked people to state their religion, according to The Huffington Post
Full story below…
Ten people are dead and at least 20 are wounded after a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, according to reports.
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, speaking at a news conference on Thursday afternoon, confirmed the shooter is dead.
The shooter has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer – CBS reports.
“Today, here in southern Oregon, is not a good afternoon,” he said. “At approximately 10:38 this morning, the Douglas County emergency communications center received phone calls from the classroom reporting an active shooter.
“Upon arriving there, [law enforcement] located the shooter in one of the buildings. Officers engaged that suspect. There was an exchange of gunfire. The shooter threat was neutralized.”
He added that the investigation remains active. He did not confirm the number of fatalities.
Hanlin went on to say that the shooting comes as a huge shock to the “peaceful” Roseburg community. “Douglas County is a timber community, roughly 107,000 people that live in the community here,” he said. “Umqua Community College is the only college we have in area…. There are a lot of students that attend the college who are from the community and misplaced employees trying to get further eduction.
“This is a peaceful community, [though] we have our share of crime in a small community. This is a huge shock.”
In a statement, Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she was “heartbroken by the magnitude” of Thursday’s violence.
“In Oregon, we are a family, and today is unspeakably difficult,” Rosenblum’s statement reads. “Our hearts gout to to all of the families affected by another senseless gun tragedy. As always, Oregon’s first responders, medical community and law enforcement have stepped up without hesitation to assist.”
The college’s president spoke later on Thursday to thank everyone for their help. “We appreciate all the help that everybody has given us today,” she said. “We are still sorting through trying to reunite students with their families.”
She added that the last bus left the campus for the Douglas County Fairgrounds with students at just after 3 p.m. “We have grief counselors for parents who have no children coming off that bus…. We are trying to get to the bottom of this. This is extremely sad to watch for families waiting for the last bus.”
The college will remain closed through the weekend and will reopen on Monday.
The gunman is thought to have acted alone. “It is believed there is only one shooter who is no longer a threat,” Lieutenant Bill Fugate of the Oregon State Police said in a press release.
Added Superintendent Richard Evans of the Oregon State Police at another press conference on Thursday: “These scenes are very dynamic and they change. Our first priority is making sure all victims are safe. Our number one priority is to take care of the victims, families and community of Roseburg.”
The The Huffington Post reports that the gunman asked his victims to state their religion before opening fire. A source also told CNN that four guns – three pistols and a long rifle – were recovered from the scene.
Separate sources told CNN that investigators are now looking into the shooter’s social media posts. On Wednesday evening, he allegedly posted a “warning” to avoid schools in the Northwest Thursday.
Sgt. Aaron Dunbar of the Roseburg Police Department told CNN that “basically everyone that was working went to the scene and we still have dozens of officers out there. They are in the process of clearing the entire campus.”
“We arrived to find multiple patients in multiple classrooms,” Douglas County Fire Marshal Ray Shoufler, who is on the scene, added. “Law enforcement was on scene and had the shooter neutralized.”
Mercy Medical Center has received nine patients thus far and says three more are en route, according to their Twitter account.
PeaceHealth Riverbend Hospital spokesman Jim Godbold tells PEOPLE that the medical facility, located some 90 minutes away, is expecting to treat two or three victims of the campus shooting. They were being flown in to the hospital, and all have gunshot wounds, Godbold says, adding he suspects their conditions will be serious. “This is a disaster-level response,” he told The Oregonian.
Residents of the rural community are shocked by the brutal incident. “Everyone is in shock here. This is a little town. It is hard to believe something like this would happen here,” Dennis Kreiss with the Pine Grove Community Church in Roseburg tells PEOPLE. “It is terrible. I just don’t understand. There is a lot of hopelessness and despair out there.”
Adds Dale Herndon, who works near the school: “We are in shock. This doesn’t happen in Roseburg. This happens somewhere else. I know some kids who go to the college, but I don’t know if any of them are there right now. Everyone is just watching the news and praying.”
Chris McCullough, a Roseburg resident and the executive director of Boy Scouts of America in Douglas County, tells PEOPLE the college is the “hub” the community.
“We have a very strong and vibrant VA here; we have a lot of soldiers coming back and fulfilling their GI bill – it’s quite the hub of our community,” he says.
He confirms that people from the school are being evacuated to the Fairgrounds. “People are just scared for their kids,” he says. “My assumption is [the Fairgrounds] is a place where they can accommodate people, get them food and water. When you think of horses and corndogs and flowers, that’s this place. People feel comfortable there.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies are on the scene.
One father of a wounded student told CNN that the gunman targeted Christians.
Stacy Boylan, whose daughter Anastasia Boylan had to undergo spinal surgery after the incident, said that his daughter told him Mercer asked students to stand if they were Christians.
“And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in about one second,” Stacy told the network. “And then he shot and killed them.”
There was previously a shooting at Roseburg High School in 2006.
Late on Thursday night, members of the community of Roseburg gathered at a candlelight vigil to pray for the victims.
If you have on-the-scene information about the shooting at Umpqua Community College, email email@example.com.
Multiple Dead in Oregon Community College Shooting
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
• Reporting by ELAINE ARADILLAS, STEVE HELLING, CHRISTINE PELISEK, CHRIS HARRIS and GREG HANLON
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