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Friday, October 2, 2015

10 dead in US college shooting

A gunman went on a shooting rampage at a college in the US state of Oregon, killing 10 people and wounding seven before he died in a shootout with police.

Authorities initially said more had died in Thursday’s shooting but the Sheriff’s department corrected this.

A visibly angry President Barack Obama made an impassioned plea for gun control in the wake of the shooting, blasting Congress for its failure to act in the face of “routine” mass killings.

The shooter – identified by US media as Chris Harper Mercer, 26 – opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in rural Roseburg, and moved to other rooms methodically gunning down his victims, witnesses said.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said nine people were killed and seven were injured, several critically. He said the victims’ identities would not be released for at least 24 hours.

Witnesses quoted in US media described scenes of terror and panic as the tragedy unfolded. One man whose daughter was wounded told CNN that the gunman ordered students to stand up if they were Christian and then shot them.

“They would stand up and he said ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second’,” Stacy Boylan told CNN, relaying his daughter Ana’s account.

He said his daughter played dead when the gunman ordered her to stand up as she lay on the floor.

Student Cassandra Welding was in a classroom when she heard 35 to 40 shots coming from an adjacent room.

She saw a fellow student be shot after opening the classroom door to check what was happening.

“Then we locked the doors, turned off the lights and … we were all pretty much in panic mode and called 911 (emergency services) and our parents and (said) ‘I love yous’ because we didn’t know what would happen, if those were our last words.”

Chris Harper Mercer


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