Oregon college shooting: Nine dead in Roseburg attack

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Oregon college shooting: Nine dead in Roseburg attack

Nine people have been killed and seven injured in a shooting at a college in the US state of Oregon, say police.

The gunman, 26, opened fire at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning and was killed in a police shootout.

There were conflicting reports on casualties but Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said 10 dead, including the gunman, was “the best” figure.

Police have not identified the attacker but un-named officers have told US media his name is Chris Harper Mercer.

Mr Hanlin said he would not confirm the name, adding: “I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act.”

The killer’s motive is not known, although police said they were investigating reports that he had warned of his intentions on social media.

Hours after the attack, in which seven were also injured, a visibly frustrated President Barack Obama demanded tighter gun laws, saying prayers are “no longer enough”.

Lorie Andrews, who lives opposite the campus, said she heard what sounded like fireworks and when she came out of her home she saw students streaming out.

“One girl came out wrapped in a blanket with blood on her,” she said.

Hannah Miles, 19, said that she and fellow students were led to a nearby book shop, where they hid in a back room.

“No-one really was sure what was going on,” she said. “The next thing we knew, there were three or four more gun shots and everybody just looked at each other – and we knew.”

The 3,000-student school is located in Roseburg, Oregon, a rural area about 175 miles (280 km) south of Portland.

Hundreds of people gathered for a vigil in a Roseburg park in the evening.

In audio from police radio channels an officer can be heard saying the suspect was down and that there were “multiple gunshot wounds” and calling for multiple ambulances to the scene.

The suspect supposedly used a “long gun”.

Students were transported by bus to a local fairground to be reunited with their loved ones.

According to Umpqua Community College’s website, the average age of students is about 38.