Oregon police struck college gunman with one bullet before his suicide

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Oregon Shooter Suicide Was Planned Says Survivor Says

The gunman who killed nine people at an Oregon college exchanged fire with two police officers, who struck him once before he retreated to a classroom and killed himself, authorities said on Wednesday as they hailed the officers as heroes.

Douglas County District Attorney Rick Wesenberg at a news conference said he found the two plainclothes officers were justified in opening fire on the gunman after he carried out the rampage Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.

SEE MORE: Mother-son bond over guns links Oregon, Connecticut slayings

The shooting carried out by Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, ranks as the deadliest in the United States in two years and the bloodiest in modern Oregon history.

Authorities had indicated that Harper-Mercer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but they previously gave few details on the shootout he had with police officers.

Roseburg police Sergeant Joe Kaney and detective Todd Spingath, who were not wearing bullet-proof vests, ran toward Snyder Hall on campus as Harper-Mercer stood in the doorway of the building and fired toward them with a 9 MM handgun, Wesenberg said.

Click through to see more from the aftermath of the deadly shooting:

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Oregon school shooting aftermath, Umpqua community college
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Oregon police struck college gunman with one bullet before his suicide
People embrace during a prayer vigil Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Winston, Ore. The vigil was held in honor of the victims of the fatal shooting at Umpqua Community College on Thursday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People walk on a path at Umpqua Community College, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. The campus reopened on a limited basis for faculty and students for the first time since armed suspect Chris Harper-Mercer killed multiple people and wounded several others on Thursday before taking his own life at Snyder Hall. (AP Photo/John Locher)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: A sign at the edge of campus welcomes students and staff back to Umpqua Community College on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Despite crime scene tape still being stretched around large areas of the school, the campus was open to staff and students today for the first time since last Thursday when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. Classes are not scheduled to resume until next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Faculty members embrace as they are allowed to return to Umpqua Community College Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. The campus reopened to faculty for the first time since Oct. 1, when armed suspect Chris Harper-Mercer killed multiple people and wounded several others before taking his own life at Snyder Hall. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Ethan Hurley, 7, top right, prays with a church group at a makeshift memorial near Snyder Hall at Umpqua Community College, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. Armed suspect Chris Harper-Mercer on Thursday killed multiple people and wounded several others before taking his own life at Snyder Hall. (AP Photo/John Locher)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 04: Families Roseburg's Green Community Church and Lutheran Church Charities pause to pray at a memorial in front of Snyder Hall on the campus of Umpqua Community College on October 4, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Chris Harper Mercer, 26, went on a shooting rampage October 1 at the campus, killing nine people and wounding another nine before killing himself, according to published reports. Lacey says she believes she survived the shooting by playing dead next to the bleeding body of fellow student Treven Anspach, who died in the shooting. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
WINSTON, OR - OCTOBER 03: Residents of Douglas County attend a prayer service and candlelight vigil at River Bend Park to remember the victims of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in nearby Roseburg on October 3, 2015 in Winston, Oregon. On Thursday 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer went on a shooting rampage at the college killing nine people and wounding another nine before killing himself. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: Umpqua Community College shooting survivor Mathew Downing (C) is greeted as he arrives on campus near Snyder Hall on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Downing was reported to have been given a package by gunman Chris Harper-Mercer and told he was the 'lucky one' who would survive to deliver the package to authorities. Despite crime scene tape still being stretched around large areas of the school, the campus was open to staff and students today for the first time since last Thursday when 26-year-old Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage in Snyder Hall killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. Classes are not scheduled to resume until next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Ashley Katter, left, embraces Haley Lamphere while holding Katter's niece Ruby Abrahamson during a prayer vigil Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Winston, Ore. The vigil was held in honor of the victims of the fatal shooting at Umpqua Community College on Thursday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: People hold a prayer circle outside Snyder Hall on the campus of Umpqua Community College on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Despite crime scene tape still being stretched around large areas of the school, the campus was open to staff and students today for the first time since last Thursday when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage in Snyder Hall killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. Classes are not scheduled to resume until next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: Students Sharon Kirkham (L) and Kristapher Yates visit a memorial dedicated to the slain students on the campus of Umpqua Community College on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Despite crime scene tape still being stretched around large areas of the school, the campus was open to staff and students today for the first time since last Thursday when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. Classes are not scheduled to resume until next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: Police stand guard outside Snyder Hall on the campus of Umpqua Community College on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Despite crime scene tape still being stretched around large areas of the school, the campus was open to staff and students today for the first time since last Thursday when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage in Snyder Hall killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. Classes are not scheduled to resume until next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Kyle Workman, second from right, holds his daughter Samantha Workman while sitting beside his wife Christina Workman who is holding their daughter Pepper Workman during a prayer vigil Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Winston, Ore. The vigil was held in honor of the victims of the fatal shooting at Umpqua Community College on Thursday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
WINSTON, ORE. -- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2015: Led by Toni New, a Chaplain with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, not pictured, friends of the late Rebecka Ann Carnes, an Umpqua Community College mass shootings victim, embrace one another in prayer during a memorial service called 'Prayers for Roseburg,' at Riverbend Park in Winston, Ore., on Oct. 3, 2015. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: A faculty member walks past a privacy fence that surrounds Snyder Hall on the campus of Umpqua Community College as it reopens on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Despite crime scene tape still being stretched aroud large areas of the school, the campus was opened to staff and faculty today for the first time since October 1, when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage at Snyder, killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. The campus is scheduled to open to students in the afternoon and classes are scheduled to resume next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: Police officers remove a barricade on the campus of Umpqua Community College as it reopens on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. The campus was opened to staff and faculty today for the first time since October 1, when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. The campus is scheduled to open to students in the afternoon and classes are scheduled to resume next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: Staff members embrace as they arrive on the campus of Umpqua Community College as it reopens on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Despite crime scene tape still being stretched aroud large areas of the school, the campus was opened to staff and faculty today for the first time since October 1, when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. The campus is scheduled to open to students in the afternoon and classes are scheduled to resume next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: A woman navigates crime scene tape as she holds flowers on the campus of Umpqua Community College as it reopens on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Despite crime scene tape still being stretched aroud large areas of the school, the campus was opened to staff and faculty today for the first time since October 1, when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. The campus is scheduled to open to students in the afternoon and classes are scheduled to resume next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: Staff members embrace as they arrive on the campus of Umpqua Community College as it reopens on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Despite crime scene tape still being stretched aroud large areas of the school, the campus was opened to staff and faculty today for the first time since October 1, when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. The campus is scheduled to open to students in the afternoon and classes are scheduled to resume next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Dr. Christine Seals speaks during a news conference at Umpqua Community College Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. The campus reopened on a limited basis for faculty and students for the first time since armed suspect Chris Harper-Mercer killed multiple people and wounded several others on Thursday before taking his own life at Snyder Hall. (AP Photo/John Locher)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 05: Police officers remove crime scene tape on the campus of Umpqua Community College as it reopens on October 5, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. The campus was opened to staff and faculty today for the first time since October 1, when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage killing nine people and wounding another nine before he was killed. The campus is scheduled to open to students in the afternoon and classes are scheduled to resume next week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Authorities block a road leading to the Umpqua Community College Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. Armed with multiple guns, Chris Harper Mercer, 26, walked in a classroom at the community college, Thursday, and opened fire, killing several and wounding several others. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Greg Kennerly, left, and Oregon State Trooper Tom Willis, stand guard outside the apartment building, Friday Oct. 2 2015, where alleged Umpqua Community College gunman Chris Harper Mercer lived, in Roseburg, Ore. Armed with multiple guns, Harper, 26, walked in a writing class at the community college, Thursday, and opened fire, killing several and wounding several others. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Law enforcement officers investigate a home in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. A gunman opened fire inside a classroom at Umpqua Community College before dying in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A building on the Umpqua Community College campus is seen on a hill as birds fly over the North Umpqua River Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. Armed with multiple guns, Chris Harper Mercer, 26, walked in a classroom at the community college, Thursday, and opened fire, killing several and wounding several others. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A sign hangs on a fence near the road leading to the Umpqua Community College campus Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. Armed with multiple guns, Chris Harper Mercer, 26, walked into a classroom at the community college, Thursday, and opened fire, killing multiple people and wounding several others. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Authorities block a road leading to the Umpqua Community College Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. Armed with multiple guns, Chris Harper Mercer, 26, walked in a classroom at the community college, Thursday, and opened fire, killing several and wounding several others. (AP Photo/John Locher)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 02: Media vehicles line the road near Umpqua Community College on October 2, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Yesterday 10 people were killed and another seven were wounded on the campus when 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer went on a shooting rampage. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 02: Emergency workers block access to Umpqua Community College on October 2, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Yesterday 10 people were killed and another seven were wounded on the campus when 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer went on a shooting rampage. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 02: Crime scene tape limits access to Umpqua Community College on October 2, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Yesterday 10 people were killed and seven were wounded on the campus when 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer went on a shooting rampage. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TARZANA, CA OCTOBER 2: LAPD outside the home of Ian Harper Friday morning October 2, 2015 in Tarzana. Harper is the father of Oregon shooting suspect, Chris Harper Mercer. (Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
TARZANA, CA OCTOBER 2: Media set up outside the home of Ian Harper Friday morning October 2, 2015 in Tarzana. Harper is the father of Oregon shooting suspect, Chris Harper Mercer. (Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 02: A media vehicle sits under a sign in a hotel parking lot which advertises Umpqua Community College on October 2, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Yesterday 10 people were killed and another seven were wounded on the campus when 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer went on a shooting rampage. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Seconds later, the two officers who were about 15 yards (14 meters) from the gunman fired back three times, with one round striking Harper-Mercer in the side and two others hitting a wall at the building's entrance, Wesenberg said.

The wounded gunman retreated to a classroom where he shot himself to death at the front of the room, Wesenberg said. He did not shoot another person after exchanging gunfire with the two officers.

"These men saved lives this day," Wesenberg said.

"They assessed that there was a threat. They were under fire, and they ran toward it," he added.

Roseburg police chief Jim Burge called the two officers heroes.

In addition to the 10 people who died in the massacre, including the gunman, nine others were wounded.

Authorities have said little regarding what they know about the motives of Harper-Mercer, who by many accounts was a troubled, socially awkward loner with a passion for guns.

President Barack Obama, who spoke out forcefully for stricter gun control measures after the massacre, plans to visit Roseburg on Friday to meet with families of the victims, the White House has said.

A memorial service is scheduled for Thursday for slain student Jason Johnson, 33.

In a statement on Wednesday, the family of Sarena Moore, 44, said the student killed in the attack had "a caring heart that was bigger than life itself."

(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Cynthia Osterman)

Click through to learn more about the Oregon shooting victims:

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Oregon Shooting Vics
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Oregon police struck college gunman with one bullet before his suicide
The photos of three of the victims of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College are displayed at a news conference, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. In the photos, from left, are Quinn Cooper, 18, Lucas Eibel,18, center, and Jason Johnson, 33. They were among those killed when Chris Harper Mercer, walked into a class at the community college, Thursday, and opened fire. At left is Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Jason Johnson, 33, got his HS diploma this year. He was killed on his 4th day of community college. #UCCshooting http://t.co/raTGL02wc4
Quinn Glen Cooper, 18, of Roseburg just graduated high school in June. http://t.co/EG1QOUqciE http://t.co/3BFQGEXEsc
Lucas Eibel, 18-year-old quadruplet, animal lover, among those mourned in Oregon #UCCShooting http://t.co/8TDTLWpTYO http://t.co/Jz1xuU1gBC
Lucero Alcaraz, 19 was in UCC’s honors program & wanted to be a pediatric nurse http://t.co/ZeRYokMuEe #UCCShooting http://t.co/TwWL8B7KGv
The Victims: #UCCshooting victim Kim Saltmarsh Dietz. Her daughter is also a UCC student, unharmed, but lost mom. http://t.co/gRIfB43rK4
Oregon shooting victim Lawrence Levine had simple needs, complex mind #UCCShooting http://t.co/3HE31w3rro http://t.co/gijgrMoBPi
Sarena Dawn Moore, 44, is being mourned by her sons and other family members. #UCCShooting http://t.co/EG1QOUqciE http://t.co/RyYBeG7VbD
We remember Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59, Sarena Dawn Moore, 44, Treven Taylor Anspach, 20 #UCCShooting http://t.co/xRcxM0F50T
“She had the biggest heart, an amazing soul.” Rebecka Ann Carnes was 18. #UCCShooting http://t.co/RXuq4AADvx http://t.co/laKRU5vCZW
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