Oregon School Shooting: The Names We Choose To Remember
2 years ago
On Oct. 1, 2015, Americans were saddened by yet another senseless mass shooting at a school. This time it took place at Umpqua Community College near the small town of Roseburg, Oregon. Certain particulars felt depressingly familiar to citizens of a nation that’s weathered dozens of mass shootings in 2015 alone, but one thing does seem to be changing: the desire of many media outlets to stop focusing attention on the individual who committed the atrocity.
Rather than spotlighting a murderer, many journalists are writing about heroes who emerged from the tragedy. One such hero is Chris Mintz, a 30-year-old Army veteran who charged at the gunman in an attempt to keep others safe. He was shot multiple times in the process, yet miraculously survived. As he lay wounded, his thoughts were on his son who was celebrating his 6th birthday.
As Mintz’s story continues to spread, strangers across the internet have donated more than $760,000 to a GoFundMe campaign to cover his medical expenses and support him as he learns to walk again. He has become a symbol of the goodness of everyday people who stand in opposition to violence.
Let us also remember the names of the nine victims who didn’t survive. Each was present in the school that day to better themselves (and others) through education.
Lucero Alcaraz, 19, a nursing student on scholarship. "I'm so proud of you for getting your college completely paid through scholarships and you made it into college honors. You were going to do great things love," her sister Maria Alcaraz wrote in a Facebook post.
Treven Taylor Anspach, 20, a basketball player and student. "One of the most positive young men, always looking for the best in life. Treven was larger than life and brought out the best in those around him," his family said in a prepared statement.
Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18, who had just begun college. "I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to have watched Becka grow up. She had just started a new job and college classes," her cousin Lisa Crawford wrote on Facebook.
Quinn Glen Cooper, 18, who was attending his fourth day of college. "Quinn was funny, sweet, compassionate, and such a wonderful, loving person," said his family in a statement.
Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59, a wife and mother whose daughter was also a student at the school. "Her disposition has always been very positive. She was just high on life," recalled high school friend Karen McHugh Crocker.
Lucas Eibel, 18, scholarship student who volunteered with animals. "We have tried to figure out how to tell everyone how amazing Lucas was, but that would take 18 years," said the family in their statement.
Jason Dale Johnson, 33, who had turned his life around after successfully completing a Salvation Army drug rehabilitation program. He had just started classes. "He started Monday and he was so proud of what he had accomplished and rightly so," his mother Tonja Engel told NBC News.
Lawrence Levine, 67, assistant professor of English and fly-fishing guide. "You visualize a professor in his office with a pipe in his mouth, that's Larry for you," said his friend Steve Schaffer.
Sarena Dawn Moore, 44, a mother who was active in the Seventh-day Adventist church. "As a church, we are in shock, spending much time in prayer and also considering ways to support and comfort her two adult sons," said pastor Christian Martin.
These are the names we choose to remember in the aftermath of this crime.