Investigators of Oregon Shooting Seek Answers as Victims Are Mourned – New York Times
ROSEBURG, Ore. — As people mourned the dead, treated the injured and comforted the survivors, investigators on Friday tried to piece together why a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a community college here in rural southern Oregon.
The shooting at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning, by a 26-year-old man identified as Chris Harper Mercer, left 10 people dead and seven wounded. Law enforcement officials said he had three weapons, at least one of which was a long gun, and that the others were believed to be handguns.
On Friday morning, John Hanlin, the Douglas County sheriff, told CNN that investigators had spent the night trying to reach neighbors and acquaintances of the gunman, and that they were still processing evidence from the crime scene. The gunman died in an exchange of fire with officers who rushed to the campus in response to 911 calls.
Law enforcement officials said one witness had told them that the gunman, Mr. Mercer, had asked about people’s religions before he began firing. “He appears to be an angry young man who was very filled with hate,” one law enforcement official said.
Investigators are also poring over what one official described as “hateful” writings by Mr. Mercer, who was described by people who encountered him as awkward, socially isolated and even mentally disturbed..
With the State Police and several local law enforcement agencies aiding in the response, Sheriff Hanlin said Thursday, “I’m guessing we have well over 100 detectives and uniformed officers out there.”
But on Friday he voiced caution about reaching any conclusions. “It is really too early to tell what the motive was,” he said. “We hope to get to the bottom of that in the next couple of days.”
Of 10 people who were rushed to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, four underwent surgery for gunshot wounds, including one who died in the operating room, and two others were treated for less serious injuries and released, hospital officials said Friday at a predawn news conference. Three of the most seriously hurt were taken to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene.
Jason Gray, chief medical officer at Mercy, said that two of the gunshot victims there remained in critical but stable condition, and that he expected the other to be discharged Friday. He described gunshot wounds to the abdomen, chest, …Read More