UCC Strong: After deadliest shooting in Oregon history, Umpqua women's basketball honors victims
ROSEBURG, Ore. — Jasmyne Davis's mind raced the morning of Oct. 1, 2015, when the point guard for the Umpqua women's basketball team heard a familiar sound as she sat in Room 16 of Snyder Hall, clicking away on a computer during Writing 122.
Was that a gun shot next door?
Pop! Pop! POP!
Those are gun shots. Who's shooting? I left south central L.A.to get away from this—is this really following me? What if he comes in here next?
Silence, then a spray of fire. Davis, 20, reached for her phone and dialed her mother in Los Angeles. No answer.
Across campus, Riverhawks women's basketball coach Dave Stricklin sat in his office comforting Ashley Backen, a freshman forward who had just learned she would miss the 2015–16 season with a torn right ACL. Neither knew of the horror unfolding 200 yards away until Stricklin's phone buzzed. Stricklin, 57, typically does not answer his phone in meetings. The exception is when one of his players calls. A father of four, Stricklin wants his players to "feel like they've joined a family, not a team," and prides himself on being available 24/7.
On the other end of the line, a panicked Davis spit out a flurry of information. "Coach Dave, there's a shooter," he remembers her saying. "I'm going to die. Kim was shot, she's bleeding everywhere, we're doing CPR, it's not working. I'm going to die."
Stricklin, who has been a health instructor and coach for 21 years at Umpqua, reacted instinctively.
"I coached her," he says. "It's like during a game. If we're being pressed and turning the ball over and I'm starting to worry and my stomach's getting upset and going crazy, I can't tell her any of that. Players have to think you're calm, or they'll panic, too. So I talked to her in a regular voice, told her to get low, make smart decisions, and stay on the phone with me."
A shooter killed nine people in fewer than 10 minutes at Umpqua Community College that day, injuring seven others, and then shooting himself. Five months later Roseburg, a town of 22,000, is still trying to move on from Oregon's deadliest shooting. [click to read more]