Police Detective Shot, Wounded Oregon Gunman, Who Then Killed Himself: DA

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A search-and-rescue vehicle is seen parked at the entrance to Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, on Oct. 2, 2015. (Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

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A police detective shot and wounded Oregon community college shooter Chris Harper-Mercer last week before Harper-Mercer killed himself — and the detective’s use of force was justified — Douglas County District Attorney Rick Wesenberg said Wednesday.

Harper-Mercer was shot during an exchange of gunfire with two Roseburg police detectives after a mass shooting Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, that killed nine people.

“These men saved lives that day,” Wesenberg said of the plainclothes detectives.

The detectives were among the first four officers to respond to 911 calls. As they approached a campus building, Harper-Mercer shot at them from an entrance. The detectives, about 15 yards away, returned fire, missing twice but hitting Harper-Mercer once, Wesenberg said.

Wesenberg didn’t say which detective shot the gunman.

Harper-Mercer went back into a classroom shot and killed himself shortly after the detective shot him, Wesenberg said.

“He would not have been able to go much further” after the detective shot him, Wesenberg said.

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