ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The gunman who fatally shot nine people at an Oregon community college last week killed himself in front of his victims after two police officers wounded him, authorities said Wednesday.
When two plainclothes detectives spotted Christopher Harper-Mercer in the doorway of a campus building, he fired at them, and the officers quickly returned fire. The killer then went back inside and shot himself in a classroom where many of his victims lay dead and wounded, a prosecutor told a news conference.
It was authorities’ most detailed account yet of the gunman’s death. Previously, they had said only that the 26-year-old attacker killed himself after a shootout.
The detectives arrived within minutes of the first reports of gunfire at Umpqua Community College.
Seconds later, the officers “both felt they had a good target,” Douglas County District Attorney Rick Wesenberg said. Two of their bullets hit a wall but a third struck Harper-Mercer on the right side.
The wounded gunman “entered the classroom again, went to the front of the classroom, and shot and killed himself,” Wesenberg said.
The attack in this rural timber town was the worst mass shooting in Oregon history. Eight students and a teacher died. Nine others were wounded.