At least 10 people were killed and others were wounded when a gunman, allegedly Chris Harper Mercer, a 26-year-old demanded to know his victims’ religions opened fire at Umpqua Community College, witnesses and authorities said.
The gunman was killed in a firefight with Douglas County sheriff’s deputies on campus, according to Sheriff John Hanlin.
Mercer identified as shooter who killed 9 at Roseburg’s college. Police would not say whether they had determined a motive.
Ian Mercer, allegedly the suspects father, told FBI, “Obviously it’s been a devastating day, devastating day for me and my family. Shocked, is all I can say.”
Law enforcement sources said that Mercer’s connection to the college, where he wasn’t a student, remained unclear.
High school student Autumn Vicari told NBC News her 19-year-old brother J.J. was in a room filled with students at the college when the gunman entered, according to NBC News.
According to her brother’s account, Vicari said at one point the shooter told people to stand up before asking whether they were Christian or not.
Vicari’s brother told her that anyone who responded “yes” was shot in the head. If they said “other” or didn’t answer, they were shot elsewhere in the body, usually the leg.
Vicari claimed her brother managed to escape but watched as three people were later killed in another room. He believes the gunman didn’t spot him, Vicari said — adding that J.J. was struggling to deal with what he witnessed, according to NBC News.
Multiple law enforcement sources told NBC News that four weapons were recovered from the scene in Roseburg–three handguns and a long gun similar to an AR-style rifle. Investigators also found several magazines for 5.56mm ammunition and a ballistics vest, according to officials.