Alek Skarlatos Attends Umpqua Community College, In “Dancing With The Stars” Rehearsal During UCC Shooting
“Dancing with the Stars” contestant Alek Skarlatos attends Umpqua Community College, but was in Los Angeles rehearsing for the ABC competition during Thursday’s school shooting.
As Gossip Cop reported, a gunman opened fire on the Oregon campus, killing 10 people and wounding seven more. The shooter, who has not yet been publicly identified, later died while exchanging gunfire with police. Skarlatos, who is from Roseburg, where UCC is located, had been studying law enforcement at the school.
The Army National Guardsman was in a rehearsal with partner Lindsay Arnold in L.A. when he found out about the massacre. He reportedly left the studio immediately after being notified, and began contacting family and friends back home. It’s unclear if he knew any of the victims, though he tweeted, “Everyone send prayers out to ucc,” and “Heading home to roseburg tonight. Everyone send thoughts and prayers to the families.”
Skarlatos further says in a statement:
“I was enrolled as a student at Umpqua Community College prior to my 2014 deployment to Afghanistan. While I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time in August aboard a train bound for Paris, I only wish that the same could be said for today. I wish that I could have been there today to assist. I praise the first responders who were on the ground today in Roseburg as they undoubtedly were integral in saving numerous lives and putting a stop to what could have been more than tragic than it is. My heart and prayers go out to this community, my community, right now.”
Skarlatos, of course, is best known to some as the “train hero,” one of the men who helped stop a terrorist attack in France in August. He and his two friends were on a European vacation when they sprung into action during a train ride, subduing a gunman and helping to save countless lives. He joined “Dancing with the Stars” earlier this month, with his scores so far putting him among the top half of contestants.
UPDATE: Watch Skarlatos discuss the tragedy below.