Oregon College Shooter Identified by Media as Chris Harper Mercer
The gunman who burst into a community college in southwest Oregon on October 1 and opened fire, killing nine people and wounding seven others before police shot him to death, has been identified as Chris Harper Mercer.
The suspect was not identified by local authorities but CBS, CNN and NBC named him as 26-year-old Chris Harper, citing anonymous law enforcement sources.
Chris Harper opened fire at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning and was killed in a police shootout.
The suspect, who witnesses say fired dozens of shots into a classroom full of screaming students, was then slain in an exchange of gunfire with police in Snyder Hall at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg following the rampage shortly after 10:30 a.m. local time.
There were conflicting reports on casualties but Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said 10 dead, including the gunman, was “the best” figure.
Sheriff John Hanlin said he would not confirm the suspect’s name, adding: “I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act.”
The killer’s motive is not known, although police said they were investigating reports that he had warned of his intentions on social media.
Hours after the attack, in which seven were also injured, a visibly frustrated President Barack Obama demanded tighter gun laws, saying prayers are “no longer enough”.
Such shootings – and his own response – had become routine, Barack Obama said, barely concealing his exasperation.
“We are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses or want to do harm to other people.
“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these mass shootings every few months.”
Umpqua Community College, a 3,000-student school, is located in Roseburg, Oregon, a rural area about 175 miles south of Portland.
Hundreds of people gathered for a vigil in a Roseburg park in the evening.
In audio from police radio channels an officer can be heard saying the suspect was down and that there were “multiple gunshot wounds” and calling for multiple ambulances to the scene.
The suspect supposedly used a “long gun”.
Students were transported by bus to a local fairground to be reunited with their loved ones.
According to Umpqua Community College’s website, the average age of students is about 38.