Flags are being flown at half-staff across the United States following the shooting at a rural community college in Oregon that left nine people dead and seven injured. The killer possessed more than a dozen weapons.
On Friday, President Barack Obama called for flags be lowered to half-staff until sunset Tuesday in honor of the victims of the shooting at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, on Thursday.
The order applies to flags at the White House, public buildings, US military installations and naval vessels, government facilities, and US embassies abroad. All classes at the college have been canceled for next week.
On Friday, Oregon federal prosecutor Billy Williams said investigators believed that the 26-year-old British-born suspect had acted alone. The shooter was killed by police during the attack. The ages of the victims ranged from 18 years to 67 years and included several students and a teacher.
Oregon State Police say the gunman was enrolled in the class he attacked. Investigators recovered six weapons at the college and seven others at the gunman's apartment.
Obama voiced his anger and sadness over the "routine" mass shootings taking place in the United States. It was the 15th time the president has called for gun control legislation since he took office in 2009. There has been an average of nearly one shooting every week - a total of 142 - in American schools since 20 children and six adults died at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.
A poll by the Pew Research Center in August found that 85 percent of respondents favored stricter background checks for gun purchases and 57 percent supported a ban on assault-style weapons.
Alek Skarlatos was a student at Umpqua but not in class on Thursday. This summer he was one of three young Americans who stopped a gunman on a Paris-bound train. He was awarded France's highest honor and his popularity in the US won him a spot on a dancing competition television show. He was attending rehearsals for the show on Thursday morning when the college was attacked.
jm/jr (AFP, Reuters)