Barely two weeks into the school year, Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon has already lost several students and faculty members to a mad man.
26-year-old Chris Mercer Harper walked onto the campus Thursday morning and shot dead at least 10 individuals, leaving several others wounded.
According to eyewitness accounts, the shooter, who was dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, walked into the school building carrying a handgun – minutes later, screams and gunshots were heard.
It was later revealed that Chris had walked into a Writing class and shot Professor Larry Levine of the English Department point blank. Chris then demanded that all the students lay down, before asking them to stand up one-by-one, telling him their religion.
Chris allegedly asked the students if they were Christians, saying, “If you’re a Christian, stand up. Good. Because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second.” Chris then proceeded to execute the students with a bullet to the head.
911 calls began pouring in by 10:40 a.m. and within minutes, police officers were on the scene. Two officers had entered the campus, located Chris and exchanged gunfire. Armed with “four guns, three handguns and an AR-15-style long gun,” Chris later died in the exchange despite wearing body armor.
Described as an angry individual, Chris, who’s online profile stated that he does not like organized religion, moved from California to Oregon in 2013. He had graduated from Switzer Learning Center which caters to students who have learning disabilities and emotional issues.
Chris’ father, Ian Mercer, spoke briefly to media saying that it had been a devastating day for him and his family. Perhaps, though, not as devastating for the parents who had gone to the fairgrounds, hoping that their child would be one of the survivors who were transported by school buses from the school to said location.
Hundreds, distressed by the deadly massacre, came together in a city park at Roseburg 8 p.m local time, holding candles high. The President of the college urged the gathering to rise above the pain and to help each other, rather than to retaliate with anger, as the shooter had done.
Photosource: Screencap from The National
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