As the town of Roseburg, Oregon begins the healing process after a gunman killed nine people at a community college, more details are emerging about the 26-year-old shooter. AP’s Haven Daley reports. (Oct. 2)
ROSEBURG, Ore. — A river of grief flowed through this small town Saturday as residents struggled to comprehend the shooting deaths of nine members of a community college at the hands of a young man armed with an arsenal of guns.
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin remembers driving to the shooting scene at Umpqua Community College just 48 hours ago.
“This isn’t real, this can’t be real,” Hanlin said he remembered thinking. “My heart goes out to the families.”
The community’s grief intensified Friday afternoon after the sheriff’s office released the names of the dead, allowing the town to begin honoring them.
• Lucero Alcaraz, 19, of Roseburg, whose sister posted on Facebook that she won scholarships to cover her college costs;
• Quinn Glen Cooper, 18, of Roseburg, whose family said he loved dancing and voice acting;
• Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59, an outdoors lover who was taking classes at the same time as her daughter;
• Lucas Eibel, 18, of Roseburg, who was studying chemistry and loved volunteering with animals;
• Jason Johnson, 33, whose mother told NBC News that he successfully battled drug abuse and was in his first week of college;
• Lawrence Levine, 67, of Glide, an assistant professor of English at the college;
• Sarena Dawn Moore, 44, of Myrtle Creek;
• Treven Taylor Anspach, 20, of Sutherlin; and
• Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18, of Myrtle Creek.
In a statement distributed by the sheriff’s office, Cooper’s family said their lives “are shattered beyond repair … no one should have to feel the pain we are feeling.”
Eilbel’s family shared the lifelong feeling of loss they’re now facing: “We have been trying to figure out how to tell everyone how amazing Lucas was, but that would take 18 years.”
Federal law enforcement sources have identified the killer as Chris Mercer, who lived in an apartment complex about a mile away.
Local authorities say the gunman — whom they have refused to name publicly to avoid giving him further notoriety — was killed in a shootout with police shortly around 10:30 a.m. local time Thursday.
Authorities have not specified a motive for why the gunman chose that particular classroom.
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