An Oregon pastor, whose daughter narrowly escaped being shot in the Umpqua Community College shooting, described in his sermon the horror unleashed in the classroom Thursday.
“I want to tell of my family’s hero,” Randy Scroggins said during his sermon at the New Beginnings Church of God. He spoke about his daughter, Lacey, who survived the shooting and the young man who saved her life. Scroggins recounted the painful incidents that his daughter told him about the events of Thursday when Chris Harper-Mercer had pulled out a gun and told everyone to get down.
According to Chicago Tribune, Scroggins said he had been asked whether he would be able to forgive Harper-Mercer, who killed nine when he unleashed a reign of bullets Thursday at the Umpqua Community College. “Can I be honest? I don’t know. That’s the worst part of my job. I don’t know” Scroggins said. “I don’t focus on the man. I focus on the evil that was in the man.”
Harper-Mercer took his life after engaging in gunfire with the police.
When the shooter entered the classroom and pulled out his gun, ordering everyone to get down, Lacey thought it was part of a writing exercise. She told Scroggins that Harper-Mercer asked at least two of her classmates, “What religion are you? Are you a Christian?” before shooting them. He then asked one man to come up to the front, to whom he handed a backpack with a thumb drive in it. “You’re the lucky one. You’re not going to die today,” he had said.
The boy sitting next to Lacey, Treven Anspach, was shot and was bleeding, and his body started rolling toward her. “I felt Treven’s body as it moved over mine,” Lacey told her father. Scroggins said that it was “the blood of that boy that covered my daughter saved her life.” As reported by ABC News, Anspach was lying on top of Lacey; she didn’t get up when she was ordered to by Harper-Mercer. He asked a woman to see if Lacey was alive, who replied that she didn’t know; and Harper-Mercer walked over Lacey.
After killing people who said they were Christians, Harper-Mercer started killing people randomly, some witnesses said.
Scroggins said the community has “come together with strength and courage and compassion. As if to say, ‘we will not be defined by violence’ …Violence will not have the last word in Roseburg.”
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