School year USA

2015 school year off to a violent start

AP OREGON SCHOOL SHOOTING A USA ORParamedics return to their ambulances after delivering patients to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Ore., following a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College on Oct. 1, 2015.(Photo: Aaron Yost, Roseburg News-Review via AP)

The 2015 school year had gotten off to an especially violent start even before Thursday’s gunfire at an Oregon community college: Three shootings involving students at college campuses across the nation since August.

On Sept. 3, one student was shot to death and two were injured in a faculty and staff parking area at Sacramento City College in Sacramento, Calif. The shooting began as an argument between two groups of men, police said at the time. There was one arrest in the incident at the two-year college with about 25, 000 students.

On Aug. 26, two people were shot on the campus of Texas Southern University. One died after the shooting in the dormitory parking lot of the historically black university in Houston. A suspect, who was not a student, was arrested in the incident.

A day later on Aug. 27, a Savannah State University student who was a former football standout was fatally shot during an altercation in the Georgia school’s student union.

And on Sept. 14, an assistant history professor at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., was shot to death in his office by a colleague who earlier shot his girlfriend off campus and later killed himself.

There has been a definite uptick in campus shootings in recent years, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education used in a USA TODAY report in September. The numbers: In 2013, the last year data are available, 23 people died in shootings on campuses at post-secondary institution; in 2009, 17 people died.

Since 2000, 10 college campuses have been the site of shootings. The worst shooting at a school campus in U.S. history remains the rampage by Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., who shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 in two separate attacks two hours apart before killing himself. The 2007 incident grabbed international headlines and spurred debate on everything from gun laws to mental health issues to security on campuses.

In Thursday’s incident, 10 people were killed, including the gunman, and nine were injured when a shooter opened fire at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon. The college, located six miles north of Roseburg, has about 3, 000 full-time students and 16, 000 part-timers.

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