Keith Weikum, a set builder and special effects operator for theater productions at Umpqua Community College, already had a skeptical expression when he opened his front door.
The reporter standing outside asked him whether he knew a particular student who had signed up to be a production assistant on a play with Weikum.
Weikum scowled. He did know that student. Not well. But he had seen the student’s face splashed all over the TV news. Weikum shook his head as he spoke slowly and directly.
“I don’t know that name. I don’t use that name,” said Weikum, who had a specific suggestion instead. “Say: ‘the shooter.'”
To the bewildered and angered residents of Roseburg, the shooter who gunned down nine people at the community college on Thursday is a man with no name. The gunman, a newcomer to Oregon, forged an almost totally anonymous life in a town, population 21,968, where it can be hard to keep secrets.