Victims of Oregon gunman with Lancashire links named

Chris Harper-Mercer, the gunman who opened fire inside a classroom at a rural Oregon college, killing at least nine people before dying in a shoot-out with police.

Chris Harper-Mercer, the gunman who opened fire inside a classroom at a rural Oregon college, killing at least nine people before dying in a shoot-out with police.

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A teacher and four teenagers are among those shot dead at an Oregon college by a British-born gunman with links to Lancashire.

Police have named the nine people killed in the attack at Umpqua Community College on Thursday.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin responds to a reporter's question about the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, where Chris Harper Mercer walked into a classheavily armed and opened fire

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin responds to a reporter's question about the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, where Chris Harper Mercer walked into a classheavily armed and opened fire

A further nine people are still being treated for injuries suffered at the hands of Chris Harper-Mercer, whose grandfather lives in Preston.

The 26-year-old killer went into the college, where he was reportedly a student, armed with three pistols and a rifle as well as additional magazines.

Three of his victims were just 18 years old, while the eldest was 67.

Harper-Mercer, whose father is reportedly English and said he was “shocked” by the tragedy, opened fire at the college before dying in a shoot-out with police.

Michael Garwood places flowers at a makeshift memorial near the road that leads to Umpqua Community College

Michael Garwood places flowers at a makeshift memorial near the road that leads to Umpqua Community College

Related article: Oregon shooter’s Lancashire links confirmed

President Barack Obama is ordering that American flags be flown at half-mast in honour of the victims of the mass shooting at the college in Roseburg.

The authorities have identified the nine victims as 19-year-old Lucero Alcaraz, of Roseburg; 18-year-old Quinn Glen Cooper, of Roseburg; 59-year-old Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, of Roseburg; 18-year-old Lucas Eibel, of Roseburg; 67-year-old teacher Lawrence Levine, of Glide; 33-year-old Jason Dale Johnson, of Winston; 18-year-old Rebecka Ann Carnes, of Myrtle Creek; 44-year-old Sarena Dawn Moore, of Myrtle Creek; and 20-year-old Treven Taylor Anspach, of Sutherlin.

Mr Cooper, who was in his fourth day of college when he was shot, was described as “sweet and compassionate” in a family statement read out by police.

A statement from the family of Mr Johnson said he was “proud of himself” to have recently enrolled in college and had “finally found his path”.

Mr Eibel had begun studying chemistry and volunteered at a wildlife centre and animal shelter.

Two victims, including Trevor Anspach who was described as “larger than life”, were part of the “immediate fire family”, the local fire service said.

Harper-Mercer apparently demanded to know his victims’ religious beliefs before opening fire at the campus.

Authorities investigating the massacre said six weapons were recovered from the college while a further seven were found during a search of his home.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokeswoman Celinez Nunez said all of the weapons were purchased legally, seven of them by the shooter or his family members in the last three years.

Harper-Mercer is not thought to have had a criminal history. Investigators believe he may have been a student at the college because a receipt found at the scene showed he purchased textbooks from the campus bookshop two days before the shooting.

It has emerged that he also failed basic training for the US Army in 2008 while his social media profiles featured content supporting the IRA.

Harper-Mercer’s father, Ian Mercer, told reporters he was “just as shocked as everybody else” at his son’s actions.

Speaking from his home in the US, Mr Mercer said: “It’s been a devastating day, devastating for me and my family. Shocked is all I can say.”

Carmen Nesnick, Harper-Mercer’s stepsister, said he was born in the United Kingdom and travelled to the United States as a young boy.

She added: “I’m actually still shaking and my mom is in there crying. I don’t know what to do.”

Witnesses described the moment Harper-Mercer stormed the school.

Kortney Moore, 18, said she was in a writing class when a shot came through the window and hit the teacher in the head.

The gunfire, shortly after 10.30am local time, sparked panic as students ran for safety and police and ambulances rushed to the scene.

Hannah Miles, 19, said she was in her writing class when her teacher got a call from security saying the school was in lockdown. She heard gunshots from a neighbouring classroom.

She said that, huddled together in the locked classroom, the students and teacher heard footsteps outside and a man’s voice call out to them: “Come on out, come on out.” They remained quiet and did not open the door.

Police soon arrived and, after students were convinced that they were indeed officers, they opened the door.

“It was like a huge burden had been lifted,” she said. “A huge sigh of relief that we were going to be OK.”