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THE SITUATION ROOM
Mass Shooting at Oregon College. Aired 18-19:00p ET
Aired October 1, 2015 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Online clues. Sources now say the gunman posted information about his plans last night. We have chilling new details about that, as investigators are poring over his social media trail and thy searching for a motive.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news, a deadly shooting rampage at a community college in rural Oregon.
We're standing by to hear from President Obama. State police initially reported 10 people killed and more than 20 injured. Right now, authorities aren't giving out any new specific figures as investigators search and secure the scene and terrified survivors are evacuated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was only about 20 minutes into class I heard just a loud bang. And I was just like, that's kind of weird, so I looked over and there's no textbook. I thought maybe there would be a textbook on the floor or table or desk ramming into a wall, but it was kind of loud so it was like what is going on?
So then I look out the window and there were a couple girls running, sprinting away from the building. And then I hear screaming after that first gunshot. And then I looked out and I saw the people running and I said to the teacher, we need to get out of here right now and then we heard the second and third gunshots. And she had opened the door and before I knew it, I was already at the student center, because I ran, booked it over there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Just a little while ago, we got confirmation the 20- year-old gunman is dead after trading fire with police. Listen to the call reporting the shooter was down.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect is down. We have got multiple gunshot wounds. We're going to need multiple ambulances on scene.
911 OPERATOR: Copy. The suspect is dead and you have multiple injured. And we're sending multiple ambulances.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BLITZER: This hour, state, local and federal agents are fanning out at Umpqua Community College. It's in the town of Roseburg, about 180 miles south of Portland.
A law enforcement official says four weapons, four weapons were found at the scene and we're told investigators are now looking into an online conversation the gunman may have had last night talking about plans to carry out a shooting.
Our correspondents are standing by as we cover this breaking story.
First, let's go to our CNN justice correspondent, Pamela Brown. She has the very latest -- Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, I'm just learning from law enforcement officials that three pistols and a long rifle were found at the scene today.
It's unclear if all those weapons belonged to the gunman. We know there was an exchange of gunfire between the gunman and law enforcement. Officials say he was a 20-year-old male, he walked on to campus this morning and went into classrooms opening fire killing multiple people.
911 OPERATOR: Active shooter UCC, 1140 Umpqua College Road.
BROWN (voice-over): It was just before 10:40 local time that the first call came into 911, an active the shooter at Umpqua Community College.
911 OPERATOR: Somebody is outside one of the doors shooting through the door.
BROWN: As frightened students tried to flee, police say the 20- year-old shooter armed with as many as four guns opened fire, apparently moving between classrooms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please have Bay City dispatch as many ambulances as possible.
BROWN: As shots continue to ring out, students describe confusion and chaos.
JODI SONKA, WITNESS: All we heard is we need to get in the backroom now, so we all ran in there and there were so many people in there that were freaking out.
BROWN: As police race to the scene, this small college of about 3,000 students was put on lockdown.
LUKE ROGERS, WITNESS: You could see like some blood on the ground where they had like a mark.
BROWN: When officers arrived, they say they found the gunman still alive and shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exchanged shots with him. He's in a classroom. Going to be southeast side of Snyder Hal.
BROWN: Police say after the firefight, the gunman was killed. Once he was dead, they say they began moving room to room clearing the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our number one priority right now is to make sure that the scene is secure and the victims are treated and that we continue to make sure that there are no additional threats.
BROWN: It's unclear at this point if the gunman is a student at the college, the community college there. We know at this hour investigators are looking at social media posts from last night to see if, in fact, it's coming from the gunman and these posts allude to wanting to open fire on a campus.
This is all part of the investigation, Wolf, one of the many pieces of evidence authorities are looking at right now, including those weapons found at the scene. ATF are tracing these guns, trying to see where he got them.
BLITZER: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, the federal agency that is looking into this together with the FBI, among others. Thanks very much, Pamela Brown.
We have a student from Umpqua Community College on the phone with us. Cassandra Welding is joining us.
Cassandra, thank you so much.
I understand you're an eyewitness and you saw what was going on, you heard what was going on.
CASSANDRA WELDING, WITNESS: Yes.
BLITZER: First of all, tell us how you're doing.
WELDING: I'm pretty shaken up about the situation that's gone on, but I'm doing OK so far, you know. With days that go on, I think I'll continue to get better, but it's pretty horrific what happened today at Umpqua Community College.
BLITZER: Well, tell us what happened. Where were you? What did you see? WELDING: I was actually in the building -- or in the classroom
right next door to where the scene, where the shooter supposedly shot, you know, some students.
And I was, you know, just in class and I heard a popping noise, almost like a balloon popping when you have too much air. And so I knew something wasn't right. And so I get down. We -- all the students in the classroom got down underneath tables.
And a lady went to go see, one of my fellow classmates went to go see what was going on and she opened the door. And, unfortunately, the gunman shot her. And as of -- and I don't know as of right now what her situation is right now.
But then we locked the doors, turned off the lights and, you know, just we were all pretty much in panic mode right there and called 911 and called our parents, our loved ones, just saying the I love yous. And we didn't know what was going to happen, if those were our last words or not, so yes, but...
BLITZER: What you're saying, Cassandra, you actually saw this person, a teacher get shot by this killer?
WELDING: No, I did not see the shooter at all.
Right when my classmate got shot, we -- one of the students said close the door, lock the door, so we locked the door and continued to hear gunshots right next door to where all of my -- right next door to our classroom.
BLITZER: So you guys were just on the ground, basically, on the floor trying to protect yourselves.
WELDING: We were all huddled together, and we put backpacks in front of us, chairs, whatever we could shield ourselves with, just in case he came in.
So, yes, it was definitely horrific, what happened. And it was unfortunate. I have gone to UCC. This will be my third year there. And the staff there and the community that you go to school with, everyone is such a loving and caring environment. And I just -- I feel for everyone, all the victims and their families today. It's just an unfortunate event what happened today.
BLITZER: How many shots, Cassandra, did you hear?
WELDING: I mean, I was -- when I was -- I probably heard about a good 35 to 40 shots. Yes.
BLITZER: And you knew these were gunshots? You understood that immediately, right?
WELDING: No. At first, I honestly thought it sounded -- I thought it was like
a rocket or like a -- something -- they were watching -- I thought it was a scene from a movie, kind of sounded like -- and it didn't hit me at first what it was.
And then this lady, she said I think it's a rocket. And so she went to go see it was OK. And then a guy was like, it actually is a gunshot. And they said no, a gunshot would echo. But these were huge, loud, like, kapows.
And so then everyone is like get down, get down, and then it is a shooting and then I knew right after that. And when I called 911, they said, are you calling from UCC, the shooting? And I said, yes, I am. So, then I knew when it was when I called.
BLITZER: Pretty terrifying. Umpqua Community College, UCC.
BLITZER: You had a cell phone. Were you calling your family, your loved ones as well?
WELDING: Yes, I was calling -- the first person I called was my mom and I thought this is the last time I was going to talk to her. And I was just terrified that -- and I was just shaking. And I was so terrified.
And then I called 911, because the line was busy and everyone was calling, but, yes, and then the police came. And then from there, they came in and said get down, get down to the shooter. And then I heard a couple more shots. And then they soon came into our classroom and said the shooter is dead and so, yes, then we were safe -- then safe to leave our classroom and head to where we had to go.
BLITZER: Did they escort you out of the building?
WELDING: Yes, they escorted us out of the building and in front of the library. And we had to get searched and our backpacks were searched, too, as well, and then we loaded on to buses to head to the fairgrounds to be with our loved ones.
BLITZER: I hope you're home now with your family, right?
WELDING: Oh, yes, I'm definitely home with my family.
And I just wanted to let -- there is also a vigil tonight for the community of Roseburg at 8:00 p.m. at the Stewart Park there. So, I just wanted to say that. And anyone that can come, it would be a lot for everyone.
BLITZER: Well, I'm glad you're OK, Cassandra Welding.
WELDING: Thank you.
BLITZER: I think this was a horrific day.
BLITZER: And give our best, our love to everyone in your community, at Umpqua Community College.
WELDING: Thank you so much.
BLITZER: All right, Cassandra, thank you very much for sharing your story with our viewers.
WELDING: Thank you.
BLITZER: We're standing by to hear from President Obama. He's going to be talking about the Oregon community college mass shooting momentarily. We will go to the White House once the president starts speaking.
In the meantime, I want to go to our White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski. She's standing by.
I understand, Michelle, the president has been briefed by local and state, his aides, on what has happen in Oregon?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. He was briefed on this when it happened and we were told that he asked his staff to continue to brief him throughout the day.
Now that there are several hours of getting information, he has now decided to come here to the Briefing Room in about 10 minutes and personally make a statement on this to the American people, something he's done more than a dozen times now since he's been president.
The last time we heard from him on this was after the Charleston church shooting back in June and at that time he said this is something he's had to do too many times. Since then, in interviews and statements he's made, he says this has no place, gun violence has no place in a civilized society, that this just doesn't happen in other advanced countries.
In fact, the last tweet he put out on this was at the end of June and he said, here are the stats, per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297 times more than Japan, 49 times more than France, 33 times more than Israel.
We expect him to touch on that after he delivers condolences to all of the families that are involved and really still getting information on this, truly a tragedy. But something else he might get at is what we heard from the press secretary today in the briefing, when news of this was just breaking, talking about how making some commonsense steps on gun control as they put it is still a top priority for administration.
We know that they have been working on potentially another executive action on gun control, possibly this time involving mental health or people who've been convicted of misdemeanors and domestic violence. That has really just been talked about behind the scenes, but so far they haven't taken that action.
That's something that the administration has been asked about quite a bit, in fact, every time there is another high-profile shooting in this country. We believe that is pending. Remember, that's something the administration did after the Sandy Hook shooting, coming out with dozens of moves in this executive action.
Those entailed a lot of information sharing, some things to do with background checks, but some of those really haven't been very effective because of lack of funding and other issues, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, we will stand by to wait -- and we're waiting to hear from the president. In a few moments from now, he will go to the White House Briefing Room and speak out on this mass shooting in Oregon.
Stand by, Michelle, for that.
Our national correspondent, Deborah Feyerick, is also working her law enforcement sources. She's joining us now.
What else are you learning, Deb?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're really learning this guy had a pretty prolific online life.
He was on a chat board the night before this rampage and he was talking to a number of people. This is sort of an anonymous conversation that is going on. And he talked about his plans for carrying out the shooting. Some of them try to egg him on.
BLITZER: Deb, I want to interrupt for a moment. I'm going to get back to you momentarily, but I understand there is a news conference, law enforcement in Roseburg at that community college is speaking out. Listen to this. This is a college official.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have taxi cab drivers volunteering to take students home from the fairgrounds.
We have law enforcement, all kinds of agencies, grief counselors there for the students and staff. At the fairgrounds, they opened the doors to us. The city manager has helped us. The county commissioners have helped us, the governor's office has helped us. All the other colleges in Oregon have offered their help.
We appreciate all the help that everybody has given us today. We're still sort of through, trying to reunify students with their families. And that is the highest priority right now. We have families waiting for the last bus of arrive with studies on it. And we have grief counselors for those parents who have no children coming off that bus. That's been our highest priority. It's why I haven't been in
front of the press before now. But as this rolls through, tomorrow, the college will be closed. This weekend, the college will be closed for all student activities that were planned.
We will be open again for classes on Monday. Right now, it is a crime scene. So, people in the neighborhood who are used to being on campus and walking in the afternoon, we're asking them to please stay away. We're trying to get to the bottom of this.
It's extremely sad right now to watch these families wait for the last bus. And I'm sure that you understand why we have priorities that put those needs in front of your needs right now, but thank you for coming.
BLITZER: All right, we will take a quick break.
We're going to continue to monitor what is going on out there at Umpqua Community College. We're waiting to hear from the president of the United States momentarily. He will be making a statement to the American people on this mass shooting.
We will be right back.
BLITZER: Go to the microphones there, the West Wing of the White House, the Briefing Room.
The president will deliver a statement to the American people, indeed to the world, on yet another deadly shooting rampage here in this country, this time at a small community college in rural Oregon.
State police reported 10 people dead, more than 20 injured. Those numbers clearly could change and they could go higher, we're told, as we get more and more information, only momentarily away.
Deborah Feyerick is standing by.
Deborah, I may interrupt you in a moment, but you were telling us about new information you were learning about the shooter.
And it really appears, Wolf, that he had a really strong and prolific online life. It's where he spent most of his time, it appears, at least the time that we're looking at.
He was on an anonymous chat board. Basically, people go on and they speak anonymously, and he talked about his plans to commit this rampage. And the reaction of those online is both -- one is sort of they describe him almost as a pathetic hero and also sort of a twisted hero as well. Some of them egg him on. They tell him how he can do it, how he can get a gun. Others say, no, don't do it. You will sort of other...
BLITZER: All right, stand by, Deb. Stand by.
Here is the president, his 15th statement on shootings since taking office.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There has been another mass shooting in America, this time in a community college in Oregon.
That means there are more American families, moms, dads, children, whose lives have been changed forever. That means there's another community stunned with grief and communities across the country forced to relive their own anguish, and parents across the country who are scared because they know it might have been their families or their children.
I have been to Roseburg, Oregon. There are really good people there. I want to thank all the first responders whose bravery likely saved some lives today. Federal law enforcement has been on the scene in a supporting role and we have offered to stay and help as much as Roseburg needs for as long as they need.
In the coming days, we'll learn about the victims, young men and women who were studying, learning and working hard with their eyes set on the future, their dreams, on what they could make of their lives. And America will wrap everyone who is grieving with our prayers and our love.
But as I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It's not enough.
It doesn't capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America next week or a couple of months from now.
We don't yet know why this individual did what he did. And it's fair to say that anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds, regardless of what they think their motivations may be.
But we are not the only country on earth that has people with mental illnesses who want to do harm to other people. We are the only advanced country on earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months.
Earlier this year, I answered a question in an interview by saying, the United States of America is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient commonsense gun safety laws, even in the face of repeated mass killings. And later that day, there was a mass shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, that day.
Somehow, this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We have become numb to this. We talked about this after Columbine, and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston.
It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. And what's become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of commonsense gun legislation.
Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out. We need more guns, they will argue, fewer gun safety laws.
Does anybody really believe that?
There are scores of responsible gun owners in this country. They know that's not true. We know because of the polling that says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws, including the majority of responsible, law-abiding gun owners. There is a gun for roughly every man, woman and child in America.
So, how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer?
We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don't work or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens, and criminals will still get their guns, it's not borne out by the evidence.
We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings -- friends of ours, allies of ours -- Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.
And, of course, what's also routine is that somebody somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue.
Well, this is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.
I would ask news organizations, because I won't put these facts forward, have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who've been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who have been killed by gun violence. And post those side by side on your news reports. This won't be information coming from me. It will be coming from you.
We spent over $1 trillion and passed countless laws and devoted entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be? This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen
every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.
When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seat belt laws because we know it saves lives.
So, the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt, protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations. Doesn't make sense.
So tonight, as those of us who were lucky enough to hug our kids a little closer, are thinking about the families who aren't so fortunate, I'd ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws. And to save lives. And to let young people grow up.
And that will require a change of politics. And it will require that the American people individually, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, when you decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination as to whether this cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor in your decision.
If you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views. And I would particularly ask America's gun owners who are using those guns properly, safely to hunt, for sport, for protecting their families, to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it's speaking for you.
And each time this happens, I'm going to bring this up. Each time this happens, I am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we're going to have to change our laws. And this is not something I can do myself. I've got to have a Congress, and I've got to have state legislatures and governors who are willing to work with me on this.
I hope and pray that I don't have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances. But based on my experience as president, I can't guarantee that. And that's terrible to say. And it can change.
May God bless the memories of those who were killed today. May He bring comfort to their families and courage to the injured as they fight their way back. And may He give us the strength to come together and find the courage to change.
BLITZER: The president of the United States visibly, visibly shaken, very angry about this latest mass shooting on a college campus here in the United States, this one in Oregon, Umpqua Community College. Ten people shot and killed. At least 20 injured. We'll get new numbers momentarily.
Jake Tapper, Gloria Borger were listening and watching the president of the United States. Not every day, Jake, you see the president that visibly shaken as he is and very much willing, anxious to go after the NRA, the National Rifle Association, but he spoke of that organization, and he clearly is ready to go to battle against them.
TAPPER (via phone): That's right, but he also challenged some others, as well. He challenged the news media. He said that we should put up numbers when it came to Americans killed by terrorists versus Americans killed in mass shootings, the suggestion being that we in the media hype the terrorist threat much more than we hype what is numerically a greater threat. That is being shot in a mass shooting like this.
[18:35:21] And he challenged the public, telling them to make sure that they vote according to their feelings on this issue and also that they make their feelings known.
And that reflects something the White House press secretary announced earlier today, when he said that there needs to be a change in the way the public, the American people -- I'll quote here. He said, "We'll need to see a fundamental change in terms of the way the American people communicate this priority to Congress before we'll see a different outcome in the legislative process."
So he is challenging others, as well, not just the NRA.
But I would say one of the things that I think a lot of people who want to get behind the president on this are frustrated by is what exactly is he calling for in terms of a new law? Is he calling for universal background checks? Oregon just started a universal background check for gun purchases last month. Is he calling for something else? What specifically is the agenda, beyond standing up against the NRA?
BLITZER: He's talking about what he calls commonsense gun legislation and the specifics. We'll wait to see what he has in mind right now. And we'll see if he can get that passed through the House and the Senate. He says it's not enough to simply say our thoughts and prayers are with those families who have been suffering as a result of this latest mass shooting here in the United States.
Gloria, you don't often see the president come into the press briefing room as visibly shaken as he clearly is right now.
BORGER (via phone): Well, I think he was not only shaken, Wolf, but you can kind of see his anger and frustration. I mean, you know, during his first the term in office we used to call him No Drama Obama. And now I think you're seeing the president feeling emerge more directly, more frontally, particularly on this issue of gun control, which is clearly a great disappointment to him and the people who work for him.
And what I think we heard the president do today is take up the mantle of the groups who are pushing for gun control and basically say you have to vote on this as a single issue the way people who support the NRA vote for this as a single issue.
I mean, what the president said, you know, is to the American public when you choose to vote for somebody, understand that you're making a decision; and you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views on gun control. And that was a very clear, you know, signal to say that you have to vote on that issue the way you vote on lots of other issues, because we cannot compete with the NRA who makes this, you know, a single issue and it's very powerful as a result.
And, you know, what he said is this is a political choice we make and, you know, no ifs, ands or buts about it. And, you know, I think the question is, as Jake pointed out, that he can -- he can blame the Congress for blocking the collection of gun data, et cetera. But he tried after Newtown, and he failed. And I think the question is whether now this becomes a larger issue again the Democrats who are for gun control will take up. Because again, this is an issue within the Democratic party, as well. It's not just a Republican-Democrat issue but it's a geographical issue. And the president clearly signaled here that it's something he intends to take on.
BLITZER: Evan Perez, our justice reporter, is getting new information on the kinds of weapons that were apparently used. Evan, what are you learning?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, Wolf, just before I get to that real quick, I wanted to just touch on something that -- that both Gloria and Jake were talking about. The politics of guns, frankly, is something that the administration has been a little bit hesitant about.
Frankly, you know, you have ATF, the agency that's supposed to oversee gun regulation in this country. They're going to be without a leader in the next few weeks, because the acting director, his term is ending. His time as an acting director expires within the next month, and the administration has signaled that they don't even intend to nominate anyone.
So while I understand that the president has tried, in the wake of some of these shootings, to try to get this going, they really -- there are things they could be doing, as well, that they're not doing.
[18:40:05] But you mentioned we do have information that these -- these are three pistols that were recovered and one long gun that we recovered at the scene there, believed to belong to the shooter. And what's interesting about that, if the shooter -- again, we believe he's 20 years old. That would indicate that, you know, he would have had to obtain these weapons not by himself, because you have to be 21 to buy pistols, handguns, you know, under the law.
So now the question is how did he obtain these firearms, these pistols? Because he would have to either get them as gifts, perhaps, from friends or family or buy them, perhaps at a gun show or perhaps, you know, buy them illegally. So that's going to be the focus of the investigation by the ATF, by local law enforcement, how he obtained these weapons that he was able to use in this mass shooting today.
BLITZER: President Obama saying we, as a nation, have become numb to these kinds of mass shootings. We're going to stay on top of this story. We'll take a quick break. Getting new information. Stay with us.
[18:45:42] BLITZER: We're following breaking news. A shooter at an Oregon community college has killed 10 people and wounded several more. Those numbers could go up.
Let's go to the former FBI assistant director, our CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes. He's with us. Also, the former ATF executive Matt Horace is with us and our CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown.
We're looking at live pictures coming in from Roseburg in Oregon where the shooting occurred at the Umpqua Community College.
Pamela, you're getting some information on the guns that were used.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We're learning that officials have recovered four guns, Wolf, three pistols, as well as an AR-type of weapons, a long gun.
It's believed they did belong to the suspect, we're learning from sources. Initially, it was unclear because as you know, there was an exchange of gunfire between law enforcement, as well as the gunman.
So, right now, ATF, of course, is tracing these weapons to see how the gunman obtained them. He's only 20 years old we learned from officials and in Oregon, you have to be 21 to legally buy a gun.
So, the question is, how did he obtain it? Was it given to him from a family member, a friend, did he get it at a gun show or did he obtain it illegally? Did he buy it online? These are questions that authorities are looking at right now, and ATF also has canine units there on the scene, looking to see if there's additional ammunition in the other weapons. But so far, what we know is there are four weapons recovered in those classrooms -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And local police say the gunman, 20-year-old gunman exchanged fire with law enforcement and the gunman was shot and killed.
Tom Fuentes, law enforcement said they found multiple victims in different classrooms there, suggesting that this shooter went from classroom to the classroom and opened fire.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right. This is similar to the Virginia Tech shooting where that shooter did the same thing. He went to a row of classrooms shooting everybody and went to the next one. By the time he was done, more than 32 people were killed including himself.
So, we had that multiple shooting and it does matter in this case. If he had an assault rifle, this would be similar to Sandy Hook Elementary with semi-automatic assault rifle, 30-round magazines. It can fire at a rate of 700 rounds per minute just depending on reloading time.
So, this is really a prolific amount of firepower for people who are literally sitting ducks in those chairs.
BLITZER: Literally. And there is no gun supposedly allowed on this campus.
Matthew, authorities -- they are looking at the gunman's social media activities, especially the night before the attack and some are suggesting it was actually alerting people, he was on to something, he was going to do something like this and some of the people he was communicating with were actually egging him on. Are you supposed about this?
MATTHEW HORACE, FORMER ATF EXECUTIVE: No, I'm not surprised, Wolf. We've seen this over the past several cases. It used to be that people left notes and now they use social media to manifest all their information, threats and those things. So, this is not a surprise.
BLITZER: But it is surprising, I think it should be surprising no one reportedly reported these planned activities to law enforcement as far as we know.
HORACE: Well, Wolf, that may seem like the common sense answer, but if you look back over history over the last year, there has always been signs before these incidents happened, there's always been signs where certain people, some people could have seen something and said something, and it didn't happen here. In fact, people even encouraged it.
BLITZER: You saw, Tom Fuentes, a clearly enraged president of the United States go out, and make that 10 or 12-minute speech that he just made, addressing the American people. This is the 15th time by our count that he's gone out and made a statement on television following a mass shooting like this. He says something needs to be done common sense gun legislation.
What do you think?
FUENTES: Well, I'd say, the next step is what? What, Mr. President? Put out a plan, put out a program. This was what we were going to do, this is what we're going to address firearms, who can have them? Under what conditions? This is what we're going to do about the mental health problems in the country that go completely unaddressed in some cases. Layout a plan. Get the people behind it. Lead us. Don't -- you know, it's great on his part to come out and be so
sympathetic and be, you know, the mourner in chief, as he is after the events. But then when that settles -- lead, tell us what you want, tell us where we should go, tell us what the American people think will be a reasonable plan to address this violence.
[18:50:04] BLITZER: Because, Matthew, you spent your career at the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms agency which is supposed to be in charge of guns and the president repeatedly says, why is it that the United States alone among industrialized countries, advanced countries have these mass killings that come up every few weeks or months?
How do you stop this?
HORACE: I think you go back to the president's speech. But you got to remember also, the president is a very intelligent guy and lawyer. He knows the firearms laws are very complex. I would channel him to nominate an ATF director and make sure we have the strength of someone that can work on all sides of the aisle, collaborate and get this sweeping firearms legislation that he talks about. And as Tom said, develop a plan of action. Talk is cheap, we need action.
BLITZER: All right. We're showing our viewers live pictures, aerial photos, live video coming in from the Umpqua Community College there in Roseburg, Oregon. We're watching what's going on.
Any indication, Pamela, right now, that we're going to be getting specific new recommendations for what the president describes as common sense gun legislation coming in from the executive branch of the U.S. government?
BROWN: Well, that is certainly hope and you heard in the president's speech that he seems to be at wit's end and says we all need to come together as Tom alluded to and come up with a plan that will work and bring both sides together, so I wouldn't be surprised, Wolf, if we do see something laid out from the executive branch to, as Tom said, lay out what can be done because you have to other side, the gun lobby, who very strong in Washington who has prevented other legislation from happening.
So, the question is what will they lay out that they can get on board with?
BLITZER: And usually there's -- the frustration level increases for those who want what the president calls common sense gun legislation as we get closer and closer to elections here in the United States.
Let's take another quick break. Much more right after this.
[18:56:38] BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. A gunman opens fire on a college campus and Oregon state police say ten people are dead, more than 20 injured. Those numbers could change, could go up. President Obama says thoughts and prayers simply not enough to
stop gun violence in the United States. It's become all too routine, he says.
Let's bring in Brian Todd. Brian, you're mapping out the area where all this happened. Show our viewers.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Wolf, some new information about how this played out on the ground.
According to police dispatch transmissions and sources familiar with the investigation, at least some gunfire took place at Snyder Hall. We're going to map that out for you. This is Snyder Hall. Some of the gunfire took place here. We're told tonight by a professor who was nearby that he believes most of it took place there. There were initial reports that some gunfire also took place at the science building on campus right next to Snyder Hall.
But we just spoke to Ken Carlone (ph), the chair of the science department there, he was there at the time. He says he's 99 percent certain there was no gunfire inside the science building. He got students into a center hallway with no windows and hunkered down. He says he's almost certain the gunman never got in there.
Now, according to the police dispatcher, an officer reported exchanging shots with the shooter at Snyder Hall. The officer in this dispatch report said he was in a classroom in the southeast corner of Snyder Hall.
Now, according to our mapping out of this campus, we believe this is the southeast corner of Snyder Hall so that officer might have reported gunshots, exchanging gunshots with the gunman about at this point in that building. Snyder is a building used for classes, workshops and meetings.
Law enforcement sources tell us the shooter started in one classroom, started moving to others including, of course, Snyder Hall. Initial reports it might have been in the science building we were just told by a professor there that he does not believe that that occurred in this science building here which is the ground view of the science building right there.
Multiple patients in multiple classrooms, also, Wolf, we spoke a short time ago with Nancy Noak (ph). She is a professor who teaches a writing class at the community college. She says she was in the educational skills building, that's this one right here. She says that she never heard the shots fired. This is about a five to seven- minute walk from Snyder where the shots did get fired.
Noak says she did not hear shots. A colleague came into her office, told her there was a shooter. She said she and the colleague moved to get students into a safer room in the building. They were on lockdown, she says, until law enforcement officers came in and gave them the all clear.
Now, according to the Douglas County fire marshal, it took law enforcement a long time to secure each classroom. And, again, you see the layout of Umpqua Community College. It's somewhat confined, but it's about a hundred acres backed up to the Umpqua River right here. It's along Interstate 5 which is right there.
There are at least 16 buildings on campus but, Wolf, when you count them from the air you can count more auxiliary buildings and other facilities up in this area. According to the college board, the school has just over 2,000 undergrad students, many of them are part time. These are images of the campus, very pastoral, beautiful campus where this tragedy occurred today, Wolf.
BLITZER: Terrible tragedy. Unfortunately, another mass shooting on a college campus here in the United States. At least ten people shot and killed. At least 20 people injured. As I say, those numbers could go up.
That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching.
We're going to continue CNN's breaking news coverage of what happened with "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" which starts right now.