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At Least 7 Dead, 20 Wounded in Oregon College Shooting

  • VOA Staff

Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

A gunman killed at least seven people and wounded more than 20 on Thursday at a small community college in Roseburg, Oregon, on the U.S. Pacific coast.

Details of the shooting at Umpqua Community College, about 290 kilometers south of Portland, remain unclear, including the exact number of victims.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin confirmed that the shooter was killed exchanging gunfire with police. Hanlin said the 20-year-old gunman opened fire in one of the classrooms and police immediately responded to emergency telephone calls.

The sheriff said all local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are involved in the investigation. This includes making sure the campus is safe and looking for a motive.

Authorities believe the gunman was familiar with the college and the building. They also say he wrote on a social media website about what he was planning to do. Investigators believe this was a case of domestic terrorism with no ties to any international group.

The White House says President Barrack Obama has been briefed on the shooing and will continue to be updated.

Sheriff Hanlin called Thursday's incident a "huge shock" to the quiet rural county, where few residents are strangers.

About 3,000 students attend Umpqua Community College. Fifty-eight percent of them are female. Most of the students are 30 and older who go to the school part-time to prepare to change careers.