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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Oregon State Police: Ten Dead In College Shooting. Aired 4:30- 5p ET

Aired October 1, 2015 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:30:02] BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But if you count them actually seem to be more auxiliary buildings up around here. The school has what we're told about 4,000 undergraduates, but the number of actual full-time students we believe are in the hundreds.

That's according to the school's web site and according to some of the school board and education officials. We're going to get more figures on the actual enrollment there. Some of that information is not really consistent at this time.

It is not a traditional school. It is a two-year college. And during the last school year the average age of students was about 28. These are some scenes from the situation today as first responders got there -- Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Brian Todd, I think the average age was 38. Thank you so much. Joining me now on the phone we have Luke Rogers, he's a student of Umpqua Community College. Luke, thanks for calling in. You were in a building nearby during the shooting. What did you see? What did you hear?

LUKE ROGERS, STUDENT, UMPQUA COMMUNITY COLLEGE (via telephone): I was in the building across -- I was in Lockwood Hall. It's straight across. I actually didn't hear any gunshots. Someone had come in and told us that something was going on so they locked us down.

We did not exit the building until the Douglas County officers came and escorted us out and they had us stay in single file line with our hands above our head. And when they got there they had four lines and each one searched and had us in the waiting like a staging area.

And as we passed by we could see where the shooting took place. You could see some blood on the ground where they had like it marked out. We didn't actually see any like any people injured. They'd already removed them at the time.

TAPPER: And my understanding from what we've heard is that the shooting took place in the Science Building and Snyder Hall, is that your understanding as well?

ROGERS: Most of what I saw with being taped off was Snyder Hall. Like we passed the Science Department as we were escorted out. So when we left the Lockwood Hall we could see it all being taped off with caution tape. And we passed right by the Science Department. TAPPER: Luke, I know that information has been sketchy. And a lot of early information is not accurate, but what have you been told from school officials or from law enforcement in the area about casualties at your school?

ROGERS: We were told 20 were injured and 15 killed. But again the number isn't confirmed. But that's what we were told in our lockdown.

TAPPER: And did anybody recognize the shooter that you know of?

ROGERS: By the time we got out the police had already I guess -- us under custody or I don't know what happened, but when they had us come out there was no shooter, there was no people around -- I mean, no victims. The only thing you could see left were like books on the ground and so they just had to escort us out. We didn't see any of that.

TAPPER: Well, Luke, we're glad that you're OK. Thank you so much for calling in and sharing your story with us. I appreciate it.

ROGERS: You're welcome.

TAPPER: We are waiting for a press conference from the governor of Oregon and state police officials. While we're waiting let's bring in our panel of law enforcement experts, Ron Hoska, former assistant director of the FBI and CNN law enforcement analysts, Tom Fuentes, and Arthur Roderick. Thanks to all of you for being here.

Arthur, let me start with you. The fact that the shooting took place in classrooms at Snyder Hall and in the Science Room, you think that might be significant?

ARTHUR RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes. It just appears to me that based on that that the individual knew where he was going, knew what he was looking for and actually knew that these rooms were going to be occupied at that period of time.

It's also interesting that we've heard about six or seven people come on that were actually on the campus at the time and nobody heard any gunshots.

TAPPER: What does that say to you?

RODERICK: Possibly a suppresser being used on the weapon itself. I think we have heard that it was a long rifle. So that has a very loud report. Any type of long rifle has a loud report. So not to hear that in adjacent rooms or adjacent buildings is pretty unusual.

TAPPER: Tom Fuentes, what strikes you so far of all the information we've heard out of Oregon about this tragedy.

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think so far that we've heard nothing about the condition of the shooter, is he dead, is he not? I don't expect him to be immediately identified because they want to have the authorities be able to get to the residences, get to the places of importance before the media gets there, before crowds get there, neighbors.

You know, so they don't want those crime scenes contaminated until they finish those searches. I think by now we can hopefully find out in the press conference coming up we'll hear more about that. The issue of the suppressers, you know, my daughter was just down the hall in the dormitory when the shooting started at Virginia Tech, heard nothing.

[16:35:03] And she was up just about to leave the room to go to class that morning. But there were two sets of fire doors that separated that corridor from the corridor down the hall where the first shootings happened. So it is possible if it's a low caliber weapon you wouldn't hear it.

TAPPER: Let's break in now we have the press conference. The sheriff is speaking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Hold on. Yes. No, I'm talking to you -- you have my picture. This is Travis -- you have my picture. OK. You ready to go live?

TAPPER: You're looking at live images. We're expecting the Douglas County sheriff to make remarks right now about this horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Handlin, the sheriff of Douglas County is the man you see on camera. And he will be speaking as we start the news conference there in Roseburg following the shooting at Umpqua Community College. Giving everyone a chance to get in place, again, people watching this around the country the tragedy that unfolded this morning at Umpqua Community College.

TAPPER: You're listening to KVAL, a local affiliate of CNN's. We're waiting for the sheriff in Douglas County. He's at the local fire station I believe about a mile and a half away from campus. We're waiting for him to start speaking to tell us more details about what happened at Umpqua Community College.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Springfield and possibly into the Portland area as well. Emergency responders from Eugene Springfield Fire Department have been asked to be at River Bend to help with any assistance they need to provide. And, again, shortly after this press conference we will play back the 911 dispatch call made immediately after that shooting began in Snyder Hall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's tough to listen to that call.

TAPPER: As we wait for the sheriff to start speaking, Ron Hoska, former assistant director of the FBI criminal investigation division. From the investigation we've been able to glean so far from Umpqua Community College, what strikes you about this horrific shooting?

RON HOSKA, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION: That this event is sadly familiar, that we have seen the middle part of this story again and again and again in our country certainly over the last three or four years, that we may have somebody who has communicated their threat or their intentions in advance.

They've left these pre-event indicators. And part of the story we have yet to hear, but we will is the heroes at the back end of this. That is the victim assistance people that will come from the FBI and all the local agencies to gather around these victims and try to help them heal over the coming days.

We don't tend to hear that. We don't tend to hear those pre-event indicators and how law enforcement can move this response to the left to get in front of this event before it happens.

TAPPER: The shooter we're told has been neutralized. We don't know yet what that means specifically. We have suspicions, but we don't yet know. It's also possible he was shot and is wounded but still alive.

Law enforcement's response we heard from a local official there, a state senator, was very quick, and as horrific as this shooting is may have prevented it from being even worse.

HOSKA: Right. In a lot of these events probably a quarter of them the shooter will take his own life before the first law enforcement engagement. Add to that another percentage of shooters will take their own life.

[16:40:06] Not because they're killed by law enforcement but because they've been engaged, that tends to be 40 percent of these encounters where between the shooter and post-encounter the shooter's taking his own life.

So it's not surprising if this turns out to be suicide at the end of this assault, kudos to law enforcement for their quick response regardless because it tends to move them and trap them and take their focus off of other victims and onto law enforcement.

TAPPER: Arthur Roderick, CNN law enforcement analyst, we're told by Deborah Feyerick, who's reporting that people been briefed on the investigation have been told -- hold on. Let's listen to the sheriff.

JOHN HANLIN, DOUGLAS COUNTY SHERIFF: -- good afternoon. Obviously today here in Southern Oregon is not a good afternoon. It's been a terrible day. I'll start off by explaining what happened at Umpqua Community College this morning.

At approximately 10:38 this morning the Douglas County Emergency Communications Center received phone calls from the college reporting an active shooter in one of the classrooms at the college. Officers from around the county immediately responded to the college.

And upon arriving there they located the shooter in one of the buildings. Officers engaged that suspect. There was an exchange of gunfire. The shooter threat was neutralized. And officers continued to sweep the campus looking for other threats.

We have confirmed that there are confirmed injuries and there are confirmed fatalities. At this point it is a very active scene. It's a very active investigation. And that is really all at this point that I am prepared to share or that I can share.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Oregon attorney general said 13 dead, can you confirm that?

HANLIN: I cannot. I've heard varying numbers and I don't want to report on a number that is inaccurate. I can tell you that we have got a tremendous amount of law enforcement help. I have the Oregon state police assisting.

We have all the local agencies including the Roseburg Police, some of the other smaller municipalities, sheriff's office, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, a lot of support in this investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us anything about the shooter or what weapon was used?

HANLIN: At this point, I cannot. I can tell you the shooter was a male subject and I have no further information beyond that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you confirm if he is alive or dead?

HANLIN: The shooter is deceased.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you confirm how many wounded?

HANLIN: I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you confirm how many wounded?

HANLIN: I cannot at this time. No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is this like for your deputies in a community this size where everyone knows someone on campus?

HANLIN: It's -- I'm sure it's very frightening for a lot of people that were responding. You're right, this is 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 was -- there were no answers for quite some time.

I personally know of a number of people that I work with that had very strong concerns about the welfare of loved ones going to school there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you confirm there's a posting on Facebook page warning this might happen or to stay away from school?

HANLIN: I haven't heard that comment, no, can't comment on that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was this contained to just one classroom?

HANLIN: At this point I can't tell you that. It's under investigation. And I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us where he was shot? I mean, what part of the campus? Was it in the classroom where the shootings occurred?

HANLIN: Where he was --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, where he was?

HANLIN: I don't know at this point. I know officers engaged him somewhere near a classroom, but I can't tell you if it was in the classroom or outside of the classroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know if he fired on police officers?

HANLIN: My understanding is, yes, he did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it 13 dead or --

HANLIN: I didn't -- I didn't say there was how many fatalities there were at this point. I don't know. The shooter is deceased.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you confirm --

HANLIN: I can tell you, again, I have the district attorney here and we have activated the major crimes team. And so along with the major crimes team and the other agencies I mentioned, we will be conducting a thorough and I'm sure it will be a rather lengthy investigation into why and how many and all the answers that we can possibly determine.

[16:45:10] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us -- taking people to the hospital or --

HANLIN: No, I believe they're press helicopters. I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more time with the type of weapon, are you saying rifle or handgun or anything like that?

HANLIN: I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sheriff Hanlin, was it in the Science Building majority of it?

HANLIN: I don't know that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff, there's a national spotlight suddenly on Roseburg to people who may not be familiar with the community, can you just talk a little bit about Roseburg so people nationwide can get an understanding of what kind of place this is.

HANLIN: Sure. Douglas County is a timber community. We have roughly 107,000 people that live in the county here. Umpqua Community College is the only higher education facility that we have in Douglas County.

There are other community colleges in surrounding counties and of course the University of Oregon would be the closest university to this community.

There's a lot of students that attend the college that are either in their first couple of years of higher education or a lot of misplaced employees that have gone back to school to learn new trades and get an education.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it a fairly peaceful community, very friendly?

HANLIN: It is a peaceful community. I mean, we have our share of crime like any small community. But certainly this is a huge shock to the entire community to have this level of crime, incident occur in our college or school system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you happy with the response of law enforcement in this situation?

HANLIN: I am extremely happy with the response. I've got fellow sheriffs here that have been through similar situations that have come to provide support and assistance. And like I said, the Oregon State Police have provided us with a tremendous amount of resources. And I couldn't be happier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many people do you think are on campus trying to investigate this situation?

HANLIN: Superintendent, do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't --

HANLIN: I'm guessing we have well over 100 detectives and officers, uniformed officers out there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were any officers injured?

HANLIN: No, there's been no report of any officers injured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you suggest the public do right now?

HANLIN: I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you suggest the public should do right now?

HANLIN: My suggestion is that they think of the family of the victims and be aware of their anguish. And think of them first. The families of the victims are the ones that are going to have the most difficult days ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- on campus when the incident occurred?

HANLIN: I'm not sure. I'm not sure which officers arrived first. There were two or three of them I believe that arrived about the same time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did they think there might be explosives or that there was a reason to sweep the whole campus?

HANLIN: That is part of the investigation to try to determine if that's a threat. We haven't had any indication that it is at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And is there any indication that there's anyone else involved in the shooting?

HANLIN: It's too early in the investigation to make that determination.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have armed security guards on campus?

HANLIN: Do what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have armed security guards on campus?

HANLIN: No, I do not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible question).

HANLIN: We have a tactical response team, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were they the ones who shot?

HANLIN: No, it was the responding officers that got there first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have families been starting to get notified about the deceased in this incident?

HANLIN: That I'm not sure at this point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible question)

HANLIN: I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know if the shooter was a student at the community college?

HANLIN: I do not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have the local hospitals been able to handle the casualties or have they had to go elsewhere?

HANLIN: That would be a good question for them. I'm not sure how overloaded they were with the injured. I did hear rumor couple patients were shipped to out of area hospitals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And practically do you have a PIO and do you have another press event scheduled after this?

HANLIN: I do. Corporal Hudson is here in the crowd. And he will be putting out more information as it comes available.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's kind of the next stop in the investigation?

HANLIN: Currently we've got more of the compound to do a thorough search of. We have to process the scene or scenes where the shooting occurred.

[16:50:05] We have a parking lot full of vehicles out there that we have to process and search and obviously we have just a ton of interviews to conduct just a moment. My PIO -- 3:00 back here for an update.

GOVERNOR KATE BROWN (D), OREGON: Good afternoon. Thank you for being here. Well, it is still too early to know all of the facts. I know I am joined by my fellow Oregonians and Americans in profound dismay and heartbreak at this tragedy at Umpqua Community College.

Facts are still emerging. We know now there were casualties and confirmed injures. Our top priority now is the medical treatment for victims and the security of the campus. We have confirmation that the shooter is deceased. He is a 20-year-old male.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We are holding the community of Douglas County in our hearts today. The work that first responders have done is harrowing.

To our first responders, thank you for your work as this community reels from grief. I am leaving now to head to Roseburg to be with the community there. Oregon State Superintendent Rich Evans is here to make additional remarks. Please take care.

SUPERINTENDENT RICHARD EVANS, OREGON STATE POLICE: The first 911 calls came in in the Roseburg area at 10:38 this morning. All law enforcement in the area responded immediately to the campus. The active shooter was engaged by law enforcement and later confirmed to be deceased.

Our number one priority right now is to make sure that the scene is secure and the victims are treated and making sure that we have a complete crime scene and that we continue to make sure that there are no additional threats.

The Oregon State Police is combing with all the local law enforcement including Douglas County sheriff's office in ensuring we do everything we need to do. We have set up a command center and set up an additional area for media relations.

Our PIO is there to assist you in the future. We're working through a family unification center. As we know the families in these types of events become very frazzled and they continue to make sure that we're communicating what we need to with them as we move forward.

These -- I'd like to remind the media that these scenes are very dynamic and they change. Our number one priority is making sure that all victims are safe. And so additional information may take some time for us to make sure we can get that information accurately to you.

But our number one priority right now is making sure that we take care of the victims, the families and the community of Roseburg. I would like to thank the first responders that responded today in a timely manner. And thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry. We're not going to be able to take any more questions today. There's a command center in Roseburg. And hopefully we'll be able to talk with you there. Thanks. TAPPER: You were just listening to Oregon State Police Superintendent Richard Evans as well as Oregon Governor Kate Brown summing up the situation at the Umpqua Community College shooting.

Governor Brown saying that the suspect who is dead she confirmed was a 20-year-old male. We're going to take a very quick break. We'll be right back with all the latest on this horrible, horrible tragedy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:55:00]

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. We just heard from Oregon's Governor Kate Brown. She identified a 20-year-old man as the shooter in this horrific incident at Umpqua Community College. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin telling reporters that the shooter was neutralized.

That he was killed by police. Oregon State Police telling CNN there were ten people killed by the gunman in this rampage in Roseburg, Oregon.

Let's bring in criminologist and CNN contributor, Casey Jordan. Casey, very little information that's come in so far, but what can you discern from the information we have? And what else are you going to be looking for?

CASEY JORDAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, just knowing that he was a male student 20 years old really does fit the profile of the campus shooter. They're not confirming that he was a student there, but I would be absolutely shocked to find out that he was not.

He surely attended classes there perhaps in the past, maybe now. And while there had to have developed some kind of beef with the fellow students or the administration or some kind of discontent that made him decide when he was going to act out on these fantasies of violence this is the place he's going to do it.

TAPPER: You regularly as a criminologist study the behavior of gunmen in cases just like this one. All we know is that he's a 20-year-old male. And obviously he committed an act of horror. And obviously according to police he got into a shootout with police. What do you make of that?

JORDAN: This is a guy who knows he's going to die and is empowering himself in the last moments of his life. Sometimes they feel superior and are narcissistic. Very often dehumanizing others and feeling alienated they have almost no friends, terrible family dynamics at home.

So when they decide that they're going to check out and most of them go into this knowing they're not going to live, they take out as many people as they can because it gives them that one sense of power before they decide to die.

TAPPER: Horrible story. Casey Jordan, thank you so much. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM," who will continue this live coverage of the school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Stay with CNN for all the latest -- Wolf.