The names of some of the victims of Chris Harper Mercer’s massacre at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon have been announced. Rebecka Carnes was 18 years old.
In a press conference on October 2, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin and ATF Assistant Special Agent Celinez Nunez released some of the horrifying details about the attack.
On October 1, a 26-year-old gunman went to the college in rural Oregon and opened fire inside the classroom of Professor Larry Levine. In total, 10 people were killed with seven more being rushed to a local hospital.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Carnes’ Mother Told the Media That She Couldn’t Find Her Daughter on the Day of the Shooting
Her mother had spoken to ABC News in the immediate aftermath of the shooting talking about how worried she was about her daughter. “I don’t know where she is. I don’t know if she’s wounded. I have no idea where she’s at,” Jessica Chandler said. A friend of Carnes told her mother that her daughter had been flown to a nearby hospital. When asked what she would say to her daughter, Chandler said “I would tell her that I love her, and I want her in my arms.”
2. Her Father Said ‘We Are at a Loss for Words’
Speaking to KATU’s Hillary Lake, Carnes’ father confirmed her death saying “We are at a loss for words.” In her last Facebook update on August 30, Carnes posted a picture with her father. Her birthday was March 29. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help her family pay for funeral expenses.
On her 16th birthday she wrote on her Facebook wall “I didn’t sleep to well last night. Maybe it was just hard to beleive i’m 16 smile emoticon It’s crazy. Lol smile emoticon We grow up so fast.”
3. She Was a Star Softball Player in High School
She was an aspiring dental hygienist at the school, reports the New York Times. The paper adds that Carnes just began classes at Umpqua on September 28. In high school, she had been a softball player. Her cousin, Bethany Johnson, paid tribute to Carnes on her Facebook page saying “Speachless! Your cousins are your first bestfriends I got the pleasure of having this Amazing young lady as mine. She had the biggest heart an amazing soul. The world clearly cocouldnt handle that much good. cry emoticon But now your flying high with the beautiful angels and you get to be with grandma. I love you so much and am going to miss you! Rest in peace Rebecka Ann.” Another cousin, Lisa Crawford, wrote on her Facebook page “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to have watched Becka grow up. She had just started a new job and college classes. This isn’t how life is supposed to work and I am struggling to wrap my mind around the entire situation.”
4. You Can Help the Carnes Family
Those wishing to help the families of the victims are encouraged to make a donation to the UCC Relief Fund at the Roseburg-based Umpqua Bank or Greater Douglas United Way, reports the Oregonian. Those banks have donated $25,000 to the cause.
In addition, the Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg is accepting blood donations on site.
5. The Gunman Is Thought to Have Asked His Victims About Their Religions Before Opening Fire
It’s alleged by the victims of the rampage that the gunman lined up students and asked what religion they were. Those who replied that they were Christian were shot in the head. On that dating site, the gunman makes it clear that he hated organized religion but regarded himself as a spiritual person. It’s been reported that he used an AR-15 rifle during his attack on the college in Roseburg. That gun has become a symbol of the gun rights lobby’s struggle against what they deem persecution from the Obama administration.