Oregon gunman killed himself after police wounded him

2015-10-08 12:41
Chris Harper Mercer. (MySpace, AP)

Chris Harper Mercer. (MySpace, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Roseburg - The gunman who fatally shot nine people at an Oregon community college last week killed himself in front of his victims after two police officers wounded him, authorities said Wednesday.

When two plainclothes detectives spotted Christopher Harper-Mercer in the doorway of a campus building, he fired at them, and the officers quickly returned fire. The killer then went back inside and shot himself in a classroom where many of his victims lay dead and wounded, a prosecutor told a news conference.

It was authorities' most detailed account yet of the gunman's death. Previously, they had said only that the 26-year-old attacker killed himself after a shootout.

The detectives arrived within minutes of the first reports of gunfire at Umpqua Community College.

Seconds later, the officers "both felt they had a good target," Douglas County District Attorney Rick Wesenberg said. Two of their bullets hit a wall. A third struck Harper-Mercer on the right side.

The wounded gunman "entered the classroom again, went to the front of the classroom and shot and killed himself," Wesenberg said.

The attack in this rural timber town was the worst mass shooting in Oregon history. Eight students and a teacher died. Nine others were wounded.

A private memorial has been held for Lawrence Levine, who was killed while teaching the class. Another private service was held Wednesday for 44-year-old Sarena Dawn Moore of Myrtle Creek. More funerals are scheduled through Saturday.

President Obama plans to travel to Roseburg on Friday to meet with victims' families. Obama's calls for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shootings did not sit well with many people in this conservative region, where gun ownership is pervasive.

Three county commissioners appeared at a news conference Wednesday to try to tamp down any suggestion that Obama was not welcome.

"Regardless of our differences with the president on policy issues, we await the president's arrival and look forward to his show of support for a community who is grieving and whose heartache is immeasurable, especially the families of those killed," said Susan Morgan, chairwoman of the Douglas County Commission, reading from a statement.

Investigators have not yet shared any motive for the killings.

They have seized 14 guns — six found at the college and eight at the apartment Harper-Mercer shared with his mother on the outskirts of Roseburg.

Authorities have said the gunman's mother told them her son was struggling with mental health issues, but no details have been released.

Harper-Mercer and his mother shared a love of firearms and would go to shooting ranges together.

Read more on:    us  |  us shootings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.