Oregon Student: “I can’t wrap my brain around it”

A mass shooting left at least 10 dead at Umqua Community College

A patient is wheeled into the Emergency Room at Mercy Medical Center. Mercy was under extreme stress dealing with victims from the shooting at Umpqua Community College and regular patient admittances. (AARON YOST/THE NEWS-REVIEW)

ROSEBURG, Ore. (KOIN) — Eyewitness accounts of the shooting at Umpqua Community College painted a chilling picture of what happened mid-morning on October 1, 2015.

A student and her mother

Hannah, 19, was in the class next to where the shooting began at Umpqua Community College, Oct. 1, 2015 (KOIN)
Hannah, 19, was in the class next to where the shooting began at Umpqua Community College, Oct. 1, 2015 (KOIN)

Hannah was in the class next to where the shooting began. The 19-year-old who is in her first week at the school told KOIN 6 News that, hours later, she was still in shock and spent time with the Red Cross — and her parents.

Sandy Miles, who is a respiratory therapist at local hospital, heard about the shooting at UCC. She tried to call Hannah, but couldn’t get hold of her and began to fear the worst.

Miles was at work at the time and thought, “Is this going to be Hannah coming in on a stretcher?”

But her husband contacted her and said Hannah was OK.

“We did not know how many were coming in, we were just trying to get prepared,” Miles said. “All hands on deck. We had rooms lined up with doctors and nurses, so forth and so on. I just wanted to get to her, but I know I had a job to do as well. We got through it there. Now, I’m out here taking care of her, my baby.”

Student in the library

Umpqua Community College student Lacey Gregory, who is in her first week at the school, told KOIN 6 News she was sitting in the library when the shooting began that left 10 dead, including the shooter, and 7 wounded.

Police search students outside Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, following a deadly shooting at the college. (Mike Sullivan/Roseburg News-Review via AP)
Police search students outside Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, following a deadly shooting at the college. (Mike Sullivan/Roseburg News-Review via AP)

“I am pretty shaken up,” she said. “I saw my friend Alex. He apparently ran past the shooting that was happening into the library to let us know that what was going on was real and people were being shot. I saw people running from the English hall across the courtyard toward every direction. It was crazy.

“I remember getting out of my seat, grabbing by backpack and I was next to my boyfriend. We all got moved to a different location in the library, a more secure one. I just remember standing there. It was scary.”

Gregory told KOIN 6 News she was maybe 100 yards from the shooter and where the shots were fired.

Her friend, she said, “was yelling through the library, ‘People are getting shot. This is real. It is a shooting. You need to get down!’ We all got escorted into the back of the library and it was really scary.”

She stayed there for as much as a half-hour “crammed together before we were cleared by officers.”

Gregory said the Roseburg police banged on the door. “He had a key to the door and (told us to come out) with our hands up. Our hands came out first and then went over our head as we walked out single-file to where they had claimed a safe zone. From then on we had our hands up and then they searched us one at a time, moved us to a clear zone to be transported out of the area.”

The shooting took place, she said, in the English hall that is not subdivided inside. The fall term at Umpqua Community College just began Monday. It is Lacey Gregory’s first week on the campus.

Another eyewitness

This Umpqua Community College student was in class when the shooting began, Oct. 1, 2015 (KOIN)
This Umpqua Community College student was in class when the shooting began, Oct. 1, 2015 (KOIN)

Another student was inside his classroom when the shooting began.

“Our teacher got an email that was sent to him and he started to lock down the room. All we knew at the time was that there was a shooter. We did not not know where or waht was going on,” he told KOIN 6 News.

They gathered in a small area that was not reachable by windows, he said, and stayed there until the sheriff showed up.

“It was kind of intense,” he said. “You are anticipating the end and what will happen. I don’t really know, other than that. I was doing a lot of pacing, waiting for answers.”

He and about 14 others were in a building on the other side of campus from the shooting. When the sheriff’s deputies arrived, “they told everyone to raise their hands so they could see and make sure no one had a weapon. Then they proceeded to escort us all out to an area where we could be searched and make sure none of us had weapons. Then get us on the buses and get us out.”

Friend of a victim

Christina Baynardo is a close friend of one of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting, Oct. 1, 2015 (KOIN)
Christina Baynardo is a close friend of one of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting, Oct. 1, 2015 (KOIN)

Christina Baynardo, a friend of one of the victims, told KOIN 6 News her friend was Life Flighted and was undergoing surgery. Baynardo said, as far as she knew, that victim was expected to survive a gunshot wound that missed her spine and lungs but ripped through muscle tissue.

Baynardo said there was nothing out of the ordinary when the day began.

“I drove to school and was jamming to Taylor Swift. This was just going to be a regular biology lab day.”

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