Two police officers in Douglas County, Oregon, are being credited with bringing down the gunman who opened fire at Umpqua Community College.
“We know that we have at least two heroic officers who exchanged gunfire with the suspect,” Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said Thursday evening in an emotional news conference.
At least 10 people were killed and seven others wounded before the gunman was shot to death earlier in the day. The number of dead varied — ranging as high as 13 — as law enforcement officials scrambled to sort through what happened.
The gunman was identified by several media outlets as 26-year-0ld Chris Harper Mercer. However, Hanlin insisted he would not utter the gunman’s name.
“Let me be very clear. I will not name the shooter. I will not give him the credit that he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act,” the sheriff said. “We would encourage you not to glorify and create sensationalism for this. He in no way deserves this.”
During the news conference, the school’s president, Rita Calvin, also spoke as she fought back tears.
“This has been a long, sad, tragic day at UCC,” Calvin said, as she praised members of the community for banding together. “We saw people rush to our help … people all over the community came in.”
The campus will be closed until Monday, the school announced. Weekend activities on campus are also canceled.