Gunman opens fire at Umpqua Community College in Oregon
and The News-Review staff
A gunman opened fire at 10:38 this morning, injuring at least 20 people at Umpqua Community College. Early reports from the scene suggest he may have killed as many as 10 of them.
The identities of the shooter and the victims were unavailable at press time. At least 11 had been transported to Mercy Medial Center, according to Mercy spokeswoman Kathleen Nickel, and two of those died. One victim was life-flighted north. As many as 13 victims were dead and the alleged shooter was reportedly killed.
Kortney Moore, 18, from Rogue River, was in her Writing 115 class in Snyder Hall when one shot came through a window. She saw her teacher get shot in the head. The shooter was inside at that point, and he told people to get on the ground. The shooter was asking people to stand up and state their religion and then started firing away, Moore said. Moore was lying there with people who had been shot.
There are unconfirmed reports that the shooter had either been shot or had shot himself. An official confirmed that the shooter had been “neutralized.”
Brady Winder, 23, of Portland, said he was in the room next door when he heard a loud thud that didn’t sound like a gunshot. He then heard a percussion of gunshots and the students all fled out the front door.
They left “like ants, people screaming, “Get out!” Winder said.
He saw a girl swim across the creek while fleeing.
Hannah Miles was in a class room next door to the shooting in Snyder Hall. Miles said they heard a sound next door that sounded like a yardstick slapping on a chalkboard. Then they heard the noise again. A teacher went to see if everything was all right, at which point it went off repeatedly and someone said everybody get out now. They got out as quickly as possible. They left everything behind.
According to scanner reports, the suspect was down and multiple ambulances were on scene. Police cleared the science building.
The scene was pure chaos.
Jared Norman, a nursing student, said he heard shots and then everyone was running. He was locked down in the cafeteria with 50 other students. His voice shook as he described the scene. They didn’t know what was going on, and they were terrified.
Shortly before noon, UCC Foundation Executive Director Dennis O’Neill said, “We locked our door and I went out to lock up the rest rooms and could hear four shots from the front of campus. We have heard there are casualties but know nothing more at this stage.”
An automated phone call went out to parents at Roseburg School District, referencing the shooting and claiming the school was safe.
Sometime after noon, students’ cell phones were confiscated, then students were marched out one building at a time, hands up, patted down and lined up to be evacuated on buses.
About 200 people were waiting at the Douglas County Fairgrounds for students, who were being ferried there in buses. Red Cross grief counselors were available at the fairgrounds.
Camas Valley teacher Christian Bringhurst said his daughter Justine was on UCC campus at time of shooting. She was safely evacuated to the fairgrounds.
“It’s awful. The uncertainty of what is going on is tough to deal with. We have a dozen (Camas Valley) kids going to school out there. Trying to find out who is there and make sure everybody is OK. Our hearts going out to the victims,” Bringhurst said.
The FBI’s Portland Division is responding to the incident. Agents and specialty personnel are responding from the FBI offices in Medford, Eugene, Salem and Portland.
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, issued a statement following the incident.
“Today’s shooting in Roseburg is a heartbreaking tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Roseburg’s first responders for their work in responding to the event. Once we know more about what happened today, I plan to work with my colleagues in Congress to find ways to prevent tragedies such as these,” DeFazio said.
• You can reach reporter Ian Campbell at 541-957-4209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the valley’s Jewish community gathered at the Albright Pavilion at Aspen Meadows Thursday for their second annual menorah lighting ceremony to celebrate and acknowledge the first day of Hanukkah.