Did The Umpqua Community College Shooter Work Alone? The Shooting Has Left More Questions Than Answers
Earlier Thursday, a gunman opened fire on students at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. Sources report that the shooting left between seven and 20 individuals dead, and the police have confirmed that the suspect has been taken into the custody of police on the scene. The shooting, believed to be the country's deadliest since the Sandy Hook shooting of December 2012, has unsurprisingly left the media and the rest of the United States with more questions than answers. One of the biggest questions looming: Did the Umpqua Community College shooter work alone, or with accomplices?
Update: On Friday, it was confirmed that there were nine victim fatalities and that Mercer killed himself after Thursday's mass shooting at Umpqua Community College. On Saturday, there were reports that Mercer handed out a box to a fellow classmate that possibly contained his final note. The note that Mercer left detailed his depression and loneliness. In an interview with CNN on Saturday, Mercer's father wondered how his estranged son was able to obtain 13 guns. Mercer was a student at the college and was enrolled in the writing class where he opened fire. He previously attended a school for mentally unstable children and was briefly enrolled in the U.S. Army in 2008, before he was kicked out a month in for not demonstrating the basic administrative standards required to serve. All of his guns were purchased legally.
The victims' names were released Friday night: Lucero Alcaraz, 19; Treven Taylor Anspach, 20; Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18; Quinn Glen Cooper, 18; Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; Lucas Eibel, 18; Jason Dale Johnson, 33;Lawrence Levine, 67 (assistant professor); Sarena Dawn Moore, 44.
CNN reports that the shooting took place largely inside Snyder Hall, one of the community college's 18 buildings. But while state and local police piece together this horrifying puzzle, the New York Daily News website has reported that the gunman took to anonymous online community 4chan to post a cryptic warning. "Some of you guys are alright," the posting allegedly reads, continuing, "Don't go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest." While the horrifying admission may give authorities a clearer indication of what happened and why, it also may indicate that the shooter intended to work alone.
As reported by FOX59, the Douglas County Commissioner confirmed to CNN that the shooter was in custody, but would not confirm whether he or she was wounded. Fire Marshal for the county, Ray Shoufler, told CNN: “We arrived to find multiple patients in multiple classrooms. Law enforcement was on scene and had the shooter neutralized." Several outlets, including Elex Michaelson, a correspondent from ABC7, has also confirmed the news that the shooter has been "neutralized" at this time, though no other information has been released.
At a 1:30 p.m. press conference, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin confirmed that the shooter, who he identified as male, has been confirmed dead. The Sheriff did not comment on the type of weapon used, or whether or not the shooter acted alone, but he did confirm that the threat to the students on the college campus has ended, and that the man responsible for the horror is now deceased.
Image: Marcin Wichary/Flickr