“Are you a Christian” gunman 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer asked students at Umpqua community college in Oregon state, USA, before he shot them one by one, on Thursday (1 October) morning.
“If you are a Christian then stand up,” he told them. “Because you are a Christian you’re going to see God in about one second,” he said to those standing as he went down a line of people. Nine people were killed and at least seven more were injured.
A text message apparently from a student who was in the classroom at the time of the attack, reported: ‘The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian. If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs.’”
Stacey Boylan, the father of injured student 18-year-old Anastasia Boylan, reported that his daughter told him she survived by playing dead after the gunman shot her in the back. Seriously wounded, she has undergone surgery for a spinal injury.
She told her father that the gunman said to the professor teaching the class, “I’ve been waiting to do this for years”, before he shot and killed him.
Police were called to the scene at 10.38 am. The gunman was fatally shot in an exchange of fire with police officers.
In response to the shooting, President Barack Obama said, “we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these mass shootings every few months,” as he called for tighter gun control.