A gunman targets Christian students in a community college in Oregon, on Thursday morning. The incident is regarded as one of the deadliest episodes of the prevalent wave of school shootings in the United States.
The gunman has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, who is resident of Oregon. Chris Harper Mercer opened fire at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning. Witnesses say he was carrying three handguns and a rifle stormed into Snyder Hall and opened fire after asking students about their religion as he attacked.
Anastasia Boylan who was one of the students wounded by his shooting told her father prior to going in for a spinal surgery, that the gunman stormed into her classroom as he was firing. She revealed that after entering into the classroom the gunman shot straight at the professor in the classroom. As a reaction all students dropped to the ground she said.
The gunman, the started reloading his gun and ordered all the Christian students to stand up. He questioned who were Christian students in the class. “And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second.’ And then he shot and killed them,” Boylan’s father conveyed her statement to CNN.
Cassandra Welding another student who was in her class when the shooting started narrates the incident. “I heard a popping noise, almost like a balloon popping. I knew something wasn’t right and so I get down.” The students were so terrified but ducked down and crowded together behind backpacks and chairs, underneath tables.
“We locked the doors, turned off the lights, and we were all pretty much in panic mode. We called 911 and called our parents, our loved ones … We didn’t know what was going to happen, if those were our last words or not.”
As a minimum 13 people were reportedly killed and more than 20 were injured. The gunman himself was killed in a fire fight with deputies of Douglas County sheriff. The gunman opened fire in one building before moving towards the science building of the college. Chris Harper Mercer does not seem to be connected with college as he was neither a student nor a one of the staff members.
U.S. President Obama in a sombre press conference expressed support for the victims. He also expressed disbelief that Americans are persistently dying in mass shootings. “Somehow, this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine,” he said in a prepared statement. “We’ve become numb to this.”
Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we feel. And it does not prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America.” At this occasion he also reiterated his call for tighter gun controls to help prevent violence.