(NVO) – A student describes the terrifying moments after the deadly shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
Freshman Lacey Gregory says she and others were escorted to a safe zone by police. “He opened the door and said come out with your hands up… and our hands went over our heads as we walked out in a single file line.”
A gunman opened fire on Thursday at the community college, killing 13 people and wounding some 20 others, in the latest mass killing to rock a U.S. school, officials and local media said.
The suspect was not identified but CNN reported it was a man in his late 20s.
Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice said the shooting left about 30 casualties, but he could not immediately say how many of those people died and how many were injured.
The shooting is the latest incident of gun violence in the United States, raising demands for more gun control and more effective treatment of the mentally ill. Recent episodes of gun violence include the massacre of nine people at a South Carolina church last spring and the killing of five U.S. servicemen in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg said on Facebook that the hospital had received nine patients from the shooting and had been advised that three more were en route.
“Please continue to pray,” the hospital said.
Local media reported that authorities were combing through the campus, which serves more than 13,000 students, 3,000 of them full-time. Fall term began at the college on Monday.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said students and faculty members were being bused to the nearby fairgrounds where they could be picked up.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the shooting by Lisa Monaco, his homeland security adviser, a White House official said.
The FBI said agents were responding from offices in Medford, Eugene, Salem and Portland.
The Oregonian said agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also en route to Roseburg, a city of about 20,000 people some 260 miles (418 km) south of Portland.
In 2012, seven students at the small Christian college Oikos University in Oakland, California, were shot dead by a former student, marking the deadliest outburst of violence at U.S. college since April 2007, when a student at Virginia Tech University killed 32 people and wounded 25 others before taking his own life.