Scenes of grief and mourning in the wake of school shootings

  • Hannah Miles, right, sits with her sister Hailey after Hannah was reunited with her family in Roseburg, Ore., Oct. 1, 2015, after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College that claimed the lives of a dozen people and injured at least 20 others. 
  • Students hold red and white flowers during a playoff football game at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Oct. 31, 2014 in Marysville, Wash., after a shooting at the school left four dead and two hospitalized. 
  • Members of the community and students grieve beside a makeshift memorial at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Oct. 26, 2014 in Marysville, Wash.
  • A makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2013.
  • A man holding flowers near a makeshift memorial is seen behind flower-filled bullet holes in the windows of the IV Deli, May 25, 2014 in Isla Vista, Calif., after a shooting spree by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger near the University of California, Santa Barbara. 
  • JoAnne Allen, right, hugs her son Alex Allen, 17, after a school shooting on December 13, 2013 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado.
  • Hundreds of students and residents attend a candlelight vigil at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, in honor of slain teacher Michael Landsberry and two 12-year-old students who were injured after a fellow student open fire at the school on Monday, before turning the gun on himself.
  • Mourners comfort each other as they leave at the burial of Danny Parmertor, March 3, 2012 in Ohio. Parmertor was killed in a shooting by student T.J. Lane at Chardon High School that left two others dead and one injured. 
  • Members of the clergy pray during a vigil for victims of the Oikos University shootings at the Allen Temple Baptist Church on April 3, 2012 in Oakland, Calif. Six students and one employee died and three others were wounded. 
  • Marty Van Hook, of Woodbridge, Va., whose son is a senior at Virginia Tech, wipes tears during a candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting rampage April 18, 2007 in Old Town Alexandria, Va. 
  • Students gather and place flowers near Cole Hall on the campus of Northern Illinois University Hall Feb. 15, 2008 in DeKalb, Ill. Six people are reported dead including the gunman and 16 other people were left wounded after a young man pulled out a shotgun and began firing inside a lecture hall. 
  • A helicopter takes off from the West Nickel Mines Amish School, in which a gunman killed five girls and injured five more, in Nickel Mines, Pa., Oct. 2, 2006. The most severely injured survivor of the Amish school shooting is totally dependent on her family for care, but has shown slow and steady progress in the year since the attack, according to a statement Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007 from the community.
  • Lance Crowe is wheeled away in tears by his mother following a press conference at North Country Regional Hospital March 23, 2005 in Bemidji, Minn. Crowe was one of seven students wounded when Jeff Weise opened fire on classmates at Red Lake High School. Five students, a teacher and a security guard were killed in the March 21 shooting at the school. Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend, before opening fire at the school and finally, after exchanging fire with police, killed himself. 
  • An unidentified woman looks at 15 crosses posted on a hill above Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. April 28, 1999 in remembrance of the 15 people who died during a shooting rampage at the school. 
  • Unidentified women greet a young boy who was evacuated by bus to a nearby junior high school in San Diego from the schoolyard of the Cleveland Elementary School after a sniper opened fire on the schoolyard, Jan. 29, 1979. 
  • Charles A. Whitman Jr., father of Charles Joseph Whitman, who killed 16 and wounded 32 others at the University of Texas at Austin, wipes tears away at the burial of his wife, Margaret, and Charles Joseph in West Palm Beach, Fla., Aug. 5, 1966. Charles Joseph Whitman killed his wife and mother before he began sniping from the University of Texas tower. 


The gun violence at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, on Thursday became the latest in a string of American mass shootings that have taken place with startling regularity. A significant portion of the gun violence strikes those particularly vulnerable — students.

Speaking from the Brady Press Room at the White House, President Obama offered his condolences to victims’ families and made his strongest remarks yet in pushing for gun control legislation. “In the coming days, we’ll learn about the victims, young men and women studying, learning, working hard with their eyes set on the future, on dreams, on what they can make of their lives, and Americans will wrap everyone grieving with prayer and love,” he said.

RELATED: The deadliest mass shootings in US history

Obama has traveled to communities struck by mass shootings at least seven times in the past to make remarks. This year, he spoke in Charleston, South Carolina, after a shooting at a historic black church that killed nine black parishioners. In the past, he has also spoken twice at Fort Hood, Kileen, Texas, after two shootings in 2014 and 2009, as well as in Tucson, Arizona; Aurora, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; and the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. 

“Somehow this is becoming routine. The reporting is becoming routine. My response here at this podium is becoming routine,” Obama said with apparent frustration. “It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. And what has become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun regulation. Their response is being cranked out right now: We need more guns. We need fewer gun laws. Does anybody really believe that?”

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