Oregon shooting affects Troy

Published 4:00 am Saturday, October 3, 2015

A day after a deadly shooting incident at an Oregon college, Troy University officials said they will continue to heighten security on campus and make sure faculty, students and staff feel safe at all times.

“Anytime there is a shooting at a school, we are closely following it,” said Dean of Student Services Herbert Reeves. “We are looking at what occurred.”

A gunman opened fire inside a classroom at a rural Oregon community college Thursday, killing at least nine people before dying in a shootout with police, authorities said. One survivor said he demanded his victims state their religious beliefs before he started shooting.

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The killer was identified Friday as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, according to a government official who was not authorized to speak publicly and provided the name on condition of anonymity. Authorities shed no light on his motive and said they were investigating.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlins said at least two officers acted heroically in the shootout, but it was not clear if authorities killed the gunman or if he took his own life.

With three recent assault incidents on the Troy University campus, Reeves said officials are not taking safety concerns lightly.

“We are taking a look at it to see if there is something applicable here and if we need to do anything different,” Reeves said.

If an active shooter incident were to occur on campus, Reeves said a protocol set by state law enforcement officials would dictate procedures and actions.

“We would continue our same protocol if we have an active shooter on campus,” Reeves said.

After the trio of assault reports to start the fall semester, Reeves said more lighting will be added to the campus, specifically in the area of the Shakleford Quad. The annual night walk that was scheduled with the Student Government Association was postponed until next week.

The SGA members will walk through the campus at night to see where additional lighting could be implemented in addition to the lighting that will be added in the area of the Shakleford Quad.

“They postponed the walk, but we are going to try to do it next week,” Reeves said. “However, we are going to continue to move forward with the light improvements.”


The Associated Press contributed to this story.