Multiple Fatalities Reported In Oregon College Shooting
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
A candlelight vigil will be held in Roseburg, Ore., tonight. People will meet to honor the victims of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College. Douglas County sheriff John Hanlin spoke just a few minutes ago.
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JOHN HANLIN: At this time, we are reporting and can confirm 10 fatalities in the shooting, and three of those that were critically injured were transferred to another hospital up in the Eugene area.
SHAPIRO: The Northwest News Network's Chris Lehman is in Roseburg, Ore., where the shooting took place, and he joins us now. Hi, Chris.
CHRIS LEHMAN, BYLINE: Hi.
SHAPIRO: Walk us through what we know about how the day unfolded.
LEHMAN: The first calls to 911 came in around 10:38 this morning Pacific Time. Police units responded from multiple agencies to the college campus. Victims were taken to area hospitals, including many to Mercy Medical Center here in Roseburg. As you just heard, there are, at this point, 10 confirmed fatalities. Students who were not immediately involved in the shooting were taken by bus to a local fairground a few miles away to be reunited with their families. That's a process that went on all afternoon.
SHAPIRO: And we've only just confirmed that 10 fatalities number. The numbers were shifting all afternoon as soon as news of the shooting came out. What can you tell us about the shooter himself?
LEHMAN: Very little. The only thing that has been officially confirmed is that the shooter was male, was 20 years old and is now dead.
SHAPIRO: Of course, leaders from the community have been speaking all afternoon and into the evening. The president of the community college just recently made remarks. What did she have to say?
LEHMAN: Well, she said it is the worst day in the 50-year history of the college. The college just very recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. She said there were close to 3,000 students on campus the fall semester - recently started a few days ago. And on a Thursday morning, that would be one of the peak student class times. Many of the students, even those who were not immediately involved in the shooting, were deeply shaken. She said there are students here from age 16 up to age 60. She also said there are no immediate plans to change security around campus when classes resume. At this point, they're scheduled to resume next Monday.
SHAPIRO: And as the sheriff spoke just now, he talked about counseling services being available to those students. Describe for us where this school is and what the community of Roseburg is like.
LEHMAN: Roseburg is in rural, Ore., about three hours south of Portland along Interstate 5. It's widely known in the area as being a logging town, which, of course, means it's had its economic ups and downs over the years. From a tourism standpoint, it's known as the gateway to Crater Lake National Park, certainly not known as a place where high-profile crimes occur.
SHAPIRO: And Chris, the identities of the victims are not going to be released for another 24 to 48 hours, but this is such a small town that people must - many of them know people who are affected by this.
LEHMAN: Exactly. And we're starting to hear some of those stories...
SHAPIRO: We seem to have lost the line. That was Chris Lehman speaking with us from Roseburg, Ore., talking about the shooting today at Umpqua Community College. And we'll have more developments as we learn more details about this incident. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.