Oregon Sheriff: ‘I will not name shooter’

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin. KOIN TV image
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin. KOIN TV image

ROSEBURG, Ore. — Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said investigators are still trying to confirm a great amount of information about the shooting that erupted in an Umpqua Community College classroom and added, the “victims and families of the victims are our priority.”

Hanlin addressed members of the media for the third time Thursday night and said: “I will not name the shooter. I will not give him the credit he probably sought. You will never hear me mention his name.”

Noting there were “conflicting reports on the number of casualties,” Hanlin earlier in the afternoon said they were “reporting 10 fatalities and 7 additional injuries.”

The sheriff said those injured were transported to hospitals for emergency treatment. Earlier reports indicated 13 people — including the gunman — died and another 20 were injured.

A toll-free number — 1.800.Call.FBI — has been set up for families to get reunited with loved one and get information.

“It’s been a terrible day,” said Sheriff Hanlin. He spoke about his tight knit community after the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College.

Douglas County is made up of roughly 107,000 people and Umpqua Community College is the only higher education facility there.

Sheriff Hanlin said this shooting and the uncertainty that surrounded it hit very close to home.

PHOTOS: Tragedy at Oregon College Campus

“I’m sure it’s very frightening for a lot of people that were responding,” said Hanlin. “It’s a small community. It’s a community college so a lot of our friends and family attend this college. And it was a situation that there was no answers for quite some time. I personally know a number of people I work with that had very strong concerns about loved ones that go to school there.”

Sheriff Hanlin asked people to keep the families of the victims in their thoughts.

In 2013, Sheriff Hanlin penned a letter to Vice President Joe Biden, urging him to “preserve, protect and defend” the 2nd Amendment.

“Gun control is not the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings,” Sheriff Hanlin wrote. “Any actions against, or in disregard for our U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights by the current administration would be irresponsible and an indisputable insult to the American people.”

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