Oregon College shooting: Nine killed in rampage are identified
The nine people killed during a shooting at an Oregon college ranged in age from 18 to 67 — from freshmen who hadn't even finished their first week of college to a retired school teacher who had returned to educating students.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office identified the nine people killed as Lucero Alcaraz, 19; Quinn Glen Cooper, 18; Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; Lucas Eibel, 18; Jason Dale Johnson, 33; Lawrence Levine, 67; Sarena Dawn Moore, 44; Treven Taylor Anspach, 20; and Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18.
The gunman, Chris Harper Mercer, was killed after an exchange of gunfire with police. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin did not say whether he committed suicide or was killed by police.
Mercer, 26, was a student at Umpqua and was enrolled in the class where he opened fire on Thursday, Oregon State Police said in a statement Friday.
Levine was a teacher at the school, Hanlin said.
Hanlin clarified Friday that nine people were injured in the shooting spree. Officials said earlier that seven people were injured.
Two of the victims were related to Douglas County EMS and fire personnel. Anspach, from Sutherlin, was the son of a firefighter, and Carnes, from Myrtle Creek, was a niece of a paramedic, officials said.
"Obviously we are family and this hurts," said Douglas County Fire Chief Greg Marlar. "But I want to let everyone know our service and our response will not be affected in the light of this tragedy."
The families of all nine victims requested privacy as they mourned, Hanlin said. Some of the victims' families released statements, which were read by sometimes visibly emotional officials during Friday's news conference.
Johnson "was proud to be a Christian," his family said. His mother, Tonja Johnson Engel, added that both she and her son were "proud" that the 33-year-old had enrolled in school. "They felt he had finally found his path," the statement said.
Cooper was also new to the school, as a freshman, and Thursday was his fourth day, his family said in a statement. Cooper and his older brother were "inseparable," the family said. "Our lives are shattered beyond repair," the family said.
Eibel's family said it would take the time the 18-year-old spent alive to explain how "amazing" he was. The teen was active in Future Farmers of America and volunteered at Wildlife Safari and an animal shelter. He was studying chemistry at Umpqua, his family said.
Anspach's parents, Justin and Kim, said the 20-year-old was "the perfect son."
"Treven was larger than life and brought out the best in those around him," they said in a statement.
Levine was a retired school teacher, who returned to teaching at Umpqua and excelled at imparting knowledge to students, said his colleague, Malinda Benton. "You couldn't find a classic he hadn't read and remembered," she said.
Benton said Levine was an "old-fashioned gentleman" who would leave surprises in his coworkers' mailboxes — mushrooms for her, and fishing flies for another colleague who enjoyed angling.
President Barack Obama on Friday ordered flags be flown at half-staff until sunset Tuesday in honor of the victims of the shooting.