2015: DOJ hints at criminal charges for UCC shooting

Originally published on November 5, 2015:

PORTLAND, Ore. – Investigators are still considering criminal charges related to the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in October, despite the fact the gunman is dead, according to an Oregon Department of Justice official.

10 dead, nine injured in shooting at UCC

“Law enforcement officials continue to actively investigate the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College and have indicated that criminal prosecution may result from that investigation,” deputy attorney general Frederick M. Boss wrote in a letter to KGW on Wednesday.

The letter was in response to a public records appeal filed by KGW.

The DOJ denied KGW’s request for recordings or transcripts from interviews with the two Oregon State Police detectives who first encountered Christopher Harper-Mercer during his rampage on the campus on October 1.

Boss did not say specifically who was still under investigation.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has taken the lead on the case. Spokesman Dwes Hutson would not comment on the nature of the case, only saying, “It is an ongoing investigation.”

Federal investigators said the six guns Harper-Mercer carried to campus and the seven guns found in his home were all legally purchased.

Harper-Mercer killed nine people on the community college campus and wounded nine more. He killed himself after two OSP detectives engaged him in a doorway to Snyder Hall.

KGW had sought video of interviews with the detectives under Oregon public records law. Oregon State Police denied that original request.

The Oregon Department of Justice also denied an appeal, citing the fact the investigation could still lead to criminal charges.

“We conclude that the public interest in protecting the integrity of the criminal investigation and any potential criminal prosecution outweighs the public’s interest in immediate disclosure,” Boss wrote.

Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report.

Read the records request, appeal and first and second denial

© 2017 KGW-TV


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