The gunman who killed at least nine people Thursday in a mass shooting at a college in Oregon has been identified by law enforcement officials as 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer, according to multiple media reports.
The New York Times reported late Thursday, citing an unnamed law enforcement official, that Mercer lived in the Roseburg area of Oregon.
“He appears to be an angry young man who was very filled with hate,” a U.S. law enforcement official told the Times.
CNN also identified Harper-Mercer as the shooter and said officials were speaking to his family and friends to try and determine a motive for the shooting rampage.
WATCH:Small Oregon community still reeling following mass shooting Thursday at community college
Authorities revised the death toll downward Thursday evening, when Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin told reporters there were 10 deaths and seven injured during the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, a small community roughly 290 kilometres south of Portland.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum had said at a news conference earlier in the day that 13 were killed and 20 were injured.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those lost or injured and the entire Roseburg community,” Rosenblum said in a Facebook post. “This unspeakable tragedy that occurred at 10:30 this morning, sadly, puts Oregon on the growing list of horrendous mass shootings in our country.”
Officials said the first calls about the shootings were received by 911 operators just after 10:30 a.m. local time.
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter and that “he is deceased.”
Hanlin would not confirm whether the gunman was killed by officers or if he took his own life. He added there is an active investigation underway and advised people to stay away from the school.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown told reporters the shooter is a “20-year-old male” but did not offer any further details. She also praised first responders for their “harrowing” work.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We are holding the community of Douglas county in our hearts today,” Brown said.
“The work the first responders have done is harrowing. To our first responders, thank you for your work as this community reels from grief.”
WATCH: Oregon State Police say initial 911 calls came in before 11:00 AM PST
Students and faculty members described the terrifying events as they unfolded.
Kortney Moore, 18, told the Roseburg News-Review newspaper that she was in a writing class at Umpqua Community College when the shooting started.
The gunman entered Moore’s classroom and told people to get on the ground. She said the man started asking people to stand up and state their religion before opening fire.
“We locked our door and I went out to lock up the restrooms and could hear four shots from the front of campus,” UCC Foundation Executive Director Dennis O’Neill told the Roseburg News-Review. “We have heard there are casualties but know nothing more at this stage.”
Lorie Andrews, 57, lives across the street from the campus and was sitting on her back porch Thursday morning when the shooting started.
“Everybody is in shock. Very,very shocked,” Andrews told The Oregonian.
Lacey Gregory, a student at UCC, told KOIN 6 News in Portland the situation was “nerve-wracking.”
“I saw people running from the English hall, across the courtyard towards every direction. It was crazy,” Gregory said. “I remember getting up out of my seat, grabbing my bag, and I was right next to my boyfriend and we all got moved to a different location on the library, a more secure one, and I just remember standing there and it was scary.”
According to the fire marshal, the shooter was first reported in the science building and stayed in one classroom.
Photos from the scene show students being escorted out of a building on campus while police cleared the campus.
According to a message posted on Facebook by the sheriff’s department, students and faculty members have been evacuated and bused to the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Police said late Thursday evening that all building on the campus had been cleared.Umpqua Community College has about 3,300 full-time students and 16,000 part-timers. Officials with UCC told reporters the school will be closed Friday.
*With files from Adam Frisk, James Armstrong