Sheriff's News Conference About Oregon Shooting

A shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, has left 10 people dead and seven injured. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin held a news conference to discuss the situation.

Following is my take on the statement: 

+ He is not polished, as you might expect from a sheriff just hours after such a shooting. He shows appropriate emotion for the situation and timing.

+ He says early on that the victims and their families are their priority.

- He could have told the public what they need to know: that the shooter is dead. (He was shot by police and then shot himself.) This might have helped assure people that they are safe. The media statement on the sheriff's website clearly states that the shooter is dead. One reason the sheriff may have avoided this is the controversy around several recent police shootings in the U.S. Otherwise, it's not clear why he wouldn't include this information. 

+ Then, he could have discussed the number of casualties, which he did clearly. 

- Part of the statement could have been given by the university president. That is more typical in these situations, as we saw in the Virginia Tech shooting. (See President Steger's statement.)

+ He appropriately gave contact information and a place where people are gathering.

+/- The public information officer is understandably nervous in front of the camera. He could have been more confident when telling the reporter that they weren't taking questions, and he could have simply walked away from the camera when he was finished. It's not clear why the sheriff passed this part off to him-possibly he wanted the officer to have some media exposure; although a terrible tragedy, this is a very big deal for the town.

Much publicity is surrounding President Obama's statement