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Mass Shooting At Oregon Community College

Oregon sheriff says 10 dead, 7 injured in shooting at Oregon Community College. Shooter identifieid only as a 20-year-old Chris Harper Mercer.

A gunman opened fire at Oregon's Umpqua Community College Thursday morning. Ten people were killed, including the shooter, and seven were injured.  The AP is reporting that the gunman, identified by a govenment official as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, was killed in a shootout with police.  According to the LA Times, Harper Mercer used to live in Torrance, Calif.

Student Kortney Moore, 18, said she was taking notes in class when a shot came through the window and struck the teacher in the head. She told the Roseburg News-Review newspaper that the gunman then entered the classroom and told students to get on the floor. According to Moore, the gunman told people to stand up and state their religion before opening fire.

The Portland Oregonian newspaper said first responders arrived at 10:40 a.m., and transported dozens of victims to a nearby hospital.

The AP reports four victims remain in the hospital, one of them in critical condition.

"It's been a terrible day," said Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, “Certainly this is a huge shock to our community."

Hours after the attack, President Barack Obama spoke to reporters at the White House, saying the U.S. must do more to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future, and challenging voters to cast ballots for officials who will act.

Interim college President Rita Cavin was in tears when speaking to reporters. "This is a tragedy and an anomaly," she said. "We have a wonderful, warm, loving and friendly campus."

Meanwhile, former UCC President Joe Olson said the school had just one security officer working, adding that the community college has been debating in recent years whether to add more security guards. It is not clear whether the school plans to add more security in lieu of the attack.

Here in LA, USC's Department of Public Safety says it would be prepared for an active shooter on campus. In fact, DPS and the Los Angeles Police Dept. train at least two times per year for a hypothetical active shooter situation. Still, the department worries students are unprepared, saying only 30 percent of students are signed up for "Trojan Alert," USC's alert system.

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