By Charlotte Alter
October 2, 2015

Witnesses said the shooter who killed nine people at Umpqua Community College Thursday was roaming the college looking for people to shoot.

“I heard one gunshot and then I looked over outside and people were running away from the building, so I knew exactly what was happening,” one witness said.

Another witness said when a classmate tried to close the door to protect the other students, she was was shot in the lower abdomen. Witnesses describe hearing loud gunshots.

Other witnesses have reportedly said that the shooter, identified by multiple news outlets as Chris Harper Mercer, appeared to target Christians. Before she went into spinal surgery, student Anastasia Boylan told her father and brother that Mercer asked Christians to stand up, then shot them, Boylan’s father Stacy told CNN.

Officials from the Douglas County Sheriff’s office said the shooter had six weapons recovered at the school, and investigators found seven other firearms in his home.

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Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com.

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