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Oregon college shooting suspect committed suicide, say officials

from Market Watch:

he alleged gunman who killed nine people and injured nine others in a mass shooting at an Oregon community college on Thursday committed suicide as police closed in on him, officials said Saturday.

The death of the gunman, previously identified by law-enforcement authorities as 26-year-old Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, has been ruled a suicide by state investigators, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin announced in a news conference. He once again refused to speak the gunman’s name.

Police had earlier said Harper-Mercer died amid an exchange of gunfire with authorities responding to the shooting Thursday morning at Umpqua Community College, but had said it was unclear whether he died by his own hand or as a result of shots fired by officers.

Stephanie Salas, the mother of a student who was shot in the hand, told The Wall Street Journal on Friday that the gunman shot himself some 20 seconds before officers rushed into his room.

Salas said her son, Rand McGowan, recounted that the gunman was ranting as he fired shots at students, and told them, “I am going to join you soon enough” before later turning a gun on himself.

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