A heavily-armed man walked into a classroom at Oregon Community College on Thursday and opened fire after asking students their religion; 10 killed and seven wounded before he was shot dead by the police
San Francisco: At least 10 people, including the gunman, were killed and seven injured in a shooting at a college in the US state of Oregon on Thursday, local police said.
The attacker opened fire at Umpqua Community College in rural Roseburg, about 180 miles south of Portland , the capital of Oregon — and then went on to other classrooms gunning down his victims. Pics/AFP
The gunman identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, opened fire at the Community College campus in Oregon before having an exchange of fire with the cops.
'What's your religion?'
An eyewitness said the gunman demanded to know students' religion before shooting them. The police said the motive of the shooter was not known. One professor in the classroom was shot from point blank range.
People at a candlelight vigil held at Roseburg, Oregon
The attacker opened fire at Umpqua Community College in rural Roseburg, about 180 miles south of Portland, the capital of Oregon — and then went on to other classrooms, gunning down his victims, witnesses said.
Lax gun control laws
According to news reports, four guns were recovered at the scene. The White House responded with a call for "common sense gun control" measures.
Ray Shoufler, a fire marshal of Douglas county, said the shooting, as well as casualties, took place within classrooms at the two-year school with some 3,300 students.
Witnesses said the gunman started shooting at the science building and moved into other buildings methodically.
Kortney Moore (18) said she was in class when a gunshot came through the window and struck her teacher in the head.
Moore said Mercer then entered the classroom and told people to get on the ground.
Stacy Boylan, whose daughter was injured in the shooting, said 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,'" Boylan said.
Since Obama's re-election in November 2012, there have been 993 mass shootings in the US, not including Umpqua. Almost 300 of them have occurred in 2015.
A visibly angry Obama, who has so far failed to convince the Republican-majority Congress towards a stringent gun-control laws, vented his frustration saying "our thoughts and prayers are not enough".
"It's not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And, it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America —next week, or a couple of months from now," he said.
Religious and racial intolerance has been on of the reasons that possibly led to several shootings in the US in recent years.
The massacre in the Oregon college is the latest in a series of mass shootings at US schools, movie theatres, military bases and churches in recent years.
As many as 88 people are killed by gun violence in America each day, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-control group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The number of students present in the college during the incident
The number of mass shootings that took place since Obama's re-election in 2012
The number of mass shootings that took place in the US since January this year
The number of people killed by gun violence in America each day