Oregon State Police spokesman Bill Fugate confirmed on Thursday that 10 students were killed and more than 20 injured in a shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College. ATF agents were on the scene and canine teams are en route to search for explosives, fire arms casings and ammunition, a spokesman said. County Commissioner Chris Boice told KGW-TV that 15 to 20 people were injured, including one woman who was shot in the chest. He also confirmed that the shooter was in custody.
Local authorities received a call of an active shooter at the college at 10:30 a.m., West Coast time. Authorities called on residents and students not to go to the campus. School officials reported that they normally have 3,000 full-time students and 16,000 part-time students. “Active shooter at UCC. Please stay away from the area,” Fire District No. 2 that serves Douglas County said on Twitter.
The 100-acre campus is situated on verdant pasture along the North Umpqua River. In 2010, the school started construction on a $6.7 million viticulture building that now houses the Southern Oregon Wine Institute, which is a state of the art wine production and teaching facility. The rural town of Roseburg lies west of the Cascade Mountains. The timber industry has struggled there, and authorities in recent years have tried to promote the area as a tourist destination for wine growing and outdoor activities. Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley also released a statement on the shooting.
I am absolutely heartbroken by today’s news,” Merkley said. “I have been in touch with local officials to express my deepest condolences and offer my assistance in any way possible and I will continue to monitor this tragedy and its response.
The school was placed on lockdown while police went building to building. Students eventually were allowed to leave, but were not permitted to take their own cars. “Everybody is in shock. Very very shocked,” Andrews said. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tweeted that it had special agents at the college and was sending additional agents, as well as a K-9 team, to the scene. Officers from the federal Department of Homeland Security were also sent to the college.
Sean Clark, a spokesman for Roseburg Health Care System, told KATU television that the hospital called in extra doctors and other staffers from other shifts to care for wounded in the attack. It is the first school shooting with multiple fatalities since late October of last year. At that time, five people were killed and one injured at a shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Washington State.