Washington: A 20-year-old gunman opened fire at a community college in the US state of Oregon, killing at least 10 people and injuring 20 others before police shot him dead in the latest incident of mass shooting to rock the country.
The incident took place yesterday on the campus of the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, which is about 180 miles south of Portland the Capital of Oregon. It has some 3,000 students.
The shooter was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police. Local authorities, who are investigating the case, offered no immediate word on his motive.
Sheriff of Douglas County John Hanlin said, “It’s been a terrible day…Certainly this is a huge shock to our community”. 10 people died in the incident, he said.
Authorities had earlier put the number of those killed at 13.
US President Barack Obama, who has been advocating stringent gun control laws, expressed grief saying “our thoughts and prayers are not enough”.
“It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America — next week, or a couple of months from now,” Obama told reporters at the White House late yesterday.
A visibly angry Obama said it’s fair to say that anybody who does this “has a sickness in their minds, regardless of what they think their motivations may be.
“But we are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses or want to do harm to other people. We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months.”
Obama, who is fighting a tough battle against a strong pro-gun lobby, said there is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America.
“So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer? We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths,” he said.
“So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence,” said the US President.
Joining Obama in anguish, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said the country needs a sensible gun control measures to save lives.
“I am just sick of this. I’m sick about it, and I feel an absolute urgency for this country to start being sensible about keeping guns away from people who should not have them.
I’m going to be pushing this issue,” she said.
“Universal background checks…a long enough waiting period so that people can’t sneak in under the deadline because the full investigation wasn’t completed. I would like us to be absolutely determined, as I am, to try to do something about this,” Clinton said. (PTI)