A teenager has revealed that she survived a shooting massacre at an Oregon college by playing dead. On October 1, Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting rampage at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg that left ten people dead and seven others injured.
Lacey Scroggins was among the students in the science department when the 26-year-old gunman opened fire. Her father Randy Scroggins said the attacker ignored his daughter because she was covered by the body and blood of another victim and he believed she was already dead. Instead Harper-Mercer turned his gone on another student, 20-year-old Treven Anspach.
Mr Scroggins, a pastor, said he owed a debt of gratitude to the family who lost their son. "I will say thank you for giving birth to the one that saved my baby," he said.
After exchanging fire with police, the gunman shot himself dead. The victims ranged in age from 18 to 67. Eight were students while the oldest was a teacher.
Earlier it was revealed that the gunman was in possession of an arsenal of weapons. Police recovered six weapons and a flak jacket at Umpqua Community College and a further seven guns at the shooter's house.
The tragedy at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg was the latest in a series of mass shootings in the United States re-igniting the debate surround gun laws in the US.
Speaking from the White House, President Barack Obama said in a stern address, the reporting of gun crime has become routine as has the response of those who oppose gun controls in the US.
"We have become numb to this," he said. "Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium ends up being routine. It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict harm on other people to get a gun."
Flags are flying at half-mast in the US as a mark of respect for the UCC shooting victims, until sunset on Tuesday 6 October.