Gunman kills 9 at Oregon college, dies in shootout with police

Who Was Chris Harper Mercer?

A gunman stalked onto an Oregon college campus on Thursday and opened fire, killing nine people and wounding seven before police shot him to death, authorities said, in yet another burst of U.S. gun violence that ranked as the deadliest this year.

The suspect, who witnesses say fired dozens of shots in a classroom full of screaming students, was slain in an exchange of gunfire with two police officers in Snyder Hall at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, ending the morning rampage.

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The gunman was not publicly identified by local authorities. A law enforcement source named him as Chris Harper-Mercer. Other media said he was 26.

In a photo posted on a MySpace profile believed to be his, a young man with a shaved head and dark-rimmed eyeglasses is seen staring into the camera while holding a rifle.

See photos of the gunman and scenes from the shooting:

Oregon school shooting, scene photos
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Gunman kills 9 at Oregon college, dies in shootout with police

Chris Harper-Mercer, 26

Photo via Myspace 


CNN reported the suspect was armed with three handguns, a "long gun" and body armor. According to survivors, the gunman at one point ordered cowering students to stand up and state their religion before shooting them one by one.

Stacy Boylan, the father of an 18-year-old student who was wounded but survived by playing dead, told CNN his daughter recounted her professor being shot point blank as the assailant stormed into the classroom.

WATCH: Oregon governor says community is 'reeling from grief':

Oregon Governor: 'This Community Reels From Grief'

"He was able to stand there and start asking people one by one what their religion was," Boylan said, relating the ordeal as described by his daughter. "'Are you a Christian?' he would ask them. ... 'If you're a Christian, stand up. Good. Because you're a Christian, you're going to see God in just about one second,' and he shot and killed them. And he kept going down the line doing this to people."

Another student, Kortney Moore, 18, who was present in the writing class when the gunman entered and survived unhurt, gave a similar account to the local News Review newspaper.

See social reactions to the shooting (WARNING: Some may contain strong language):

Oregon school shooting, UCC, social reactions
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Gunman kills 9 at Oregon college, dies in shootout with police
Terrible news coming out of Roseburg. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the community.
On a plane and learning about the heinous shooting in Oregon. A community’s heart has been tested but will not be broken. #UCCShooting
Was boarding a plane as I learned about the horrific shooting in Oregon. Thoughts and prayers are w/the Roseburg community. #UCCShooting
My thoughts are with the families and victims of today's tragedy.
Prayers for those in Oregon dealing w/ yet another mass shooting... 😔
My heart is with those who lost so much today in Oregon. -O’M
Another senseless tragedy with more innocent people killed. Our hearts go out to the families. -B
My heart goes out to all affected by #Umpqua shooting. How many gunshots before legislators start listening? #GunReform #UCCShooting
Praying for those affected by the shooting at Umpqua community college today. I'll be keeping you all in my thoughts.
Can't wrap my head around the fact that one of my best friends since birth was the only person in the whole class not shot.
I am completely devastated! My heart goes out to my hometown and college #UmpquaCommunityCollege Pray for #Roseburg!
Another tragic shooting. This one hits home being from Roseburg. Spent a lot of time on UCC campus as a kid. 🙏
So stunned & angry about yet another mass shooting, this time on a college campus in Oregon. We pray for the victims & their families.
Stunned by reports of a shooting in my home state of OR. My thoughts & prayers are w/ UCC as we struggle to cope w/ this tragedy.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today's tragic shooting in Roseburg:
Sick to my stomach man. My next class was at snyder, can't even process all this.
#UCCShooting leaves us w/ a profound sense of loss. We should work in whatever ways we can to prevent these acts of violence in the future
Active shooter reported at Umpqua Community College. One person reported shot.
Students are running everywhere. Holy God.
Oregon shooter brought down. Multiple rescue units requested. First reports 20 victims.
My heart is broken. 💔 praying for our little community today. 🙏🏼
If something happens to my mom rn at ucc I will go to prison
My mom works at UCC and my brother goes to school there. This is so fucking scary
Literally bawling my eyes out & can't calm down
I feel so sick & can't stop shaking. This is unreal
My grandparents, aunt and uncle live across the street from UCC. This is unreal.
Scariest thing I've ever experienced...
I was getting ready to get out of my car to go to class and my papa stopped me and told me to get the f*ck off campus
Heartbroken. Again. #prayersforUmpqua
Authorities check bags as students and staff are moved off campus at Umpqua Community College after shooting report.


Authorities offered no explanation for the gunman's actions.

"The law enforcement investigation into the shooter and into his motivations is ongoing," Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said at an afternoon news conference. He also said three of the wounded victims were hospitalized in critical condition.

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Hanlin refused to name the gunman. "I will not give him the credit he probably sought via his horrific and cowardly act," he told reporters.

The massacre in Roseburg, a former timber town on the western edge of the Cascades some 260 miles (420 km) south of Portland, was the latest in a flurry of lethal U.S. mass shootings in recent years.

Thursday's was the deadliest this year, surpassing the nine killed in a gun battle between motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, in May, and the nine who died in the rampage of a gunman at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina in June.

The Roseburg shooting ranks among the bloodiest on U.S. school campuses, which have become frequent targets for such violence.

It was the deadliest at an institution of higher education since April 2007, when a student at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg killed 32 people and wounded 25 before taking his own life.

RELATED: See the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history

Deadliest Mass Shootings in U.S. History
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Gunman kills 9 at Oregon college, dies in shootout with police
A candlelight vigil is pictured on the Las Vegas strip following a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Picture taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Aryanna Williams, 6, and Mickey Deustch, 8, of Las Vegas, Nevada attend a vigil on the Las Vegas strip for the victims of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shootings on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lone gunman Stephan Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada opened fire on festival attendees leaving at least 59 dead and over 500 injured before killing himself. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images)
People attend a candlelight vigil at the University of Las Vegas student union October 2, 2017, after a gunman killed at least 58 people and wounded more than 500 others when he opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada late October 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Mourners hold up signs during a vigil in Washington, DC on June 12, 2016, in reaction to the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Fifty people died when a gunman allegedly inspired by the Islamic State group opened fire inside a gay nightclub in Florida, in the worst terror attack on US soil since September 11, 2001. / AFP / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 12: FBI agents investigate near the damaged rear wall of the Pulse Nightclub where Omar Mateen allegedly killed at least 50 people on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The mass shooting killed at least 50 people and injuring 53 others in what is the deadliest mass shooting in the countryÃs history. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 12: A guest holds a sign remembering the Orlando Massacre at the LA PRIDE Music Festival and Parade 2016 on June 10, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage)
BLACKSBURG, VA - APRIL 17: Thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil on the campus of Virginia Tech April 17, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia. According to police, English major Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a native of South Korea, went on a shooting rampage that left a total of 33 people dead. It was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: (VIDEO CAPTURE) Columbine high school shooters Eric Harris (L) and Dylan Klebold appear in this video capture of a surveillance tape released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department in the cafeteria at Columbine High School April 20, 1999 in Littleton, CO during their shooting spree which killed 13 people. (Photo courtesy of Jefferson County Sheriff's Department via Getty Images)

Fort Hood, Texas, 13 killed

KILLEEN, TX - NOVEMBER 5: Sgt. Fanuaee Vea embraces Pvt. Savannah Green while trying to reach friends and family outside Fort Hood on November 5, 2009 in Killeen, Texas. At least one gunman killed 12 people and injured 31 in a shooting on a military base at Fort Hood this afternoon. One shooter was killed by military police and at least two other soldiers are in custody. (Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)


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