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Protesters, Supporters Greet President Obama In Roseburg

Protesters gathered outside the airport in Roseburg, Oregon ahead of President Obama's visit.
Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
Protesters gathered outside the airport in Roseburg, Oregon ahead of President Obama's visit.

Updated -- Protesters and supporters greeted President Barack Obama during his visit to Roseburg, Oregon. The President touched down in Marine One Friday afternoon to meet with families of the victims of last week's shooting at Umpqua Community College.

Obama was in Roseburg for a little more than an hour and met privately with families at Roseburg High School.

Nine people died when a gunman opened fire in a classroom. Not everyone in Roseburg welcomed the President. Vicki Hart was one of several hundred protesters who lined a street near the Roseburg airport.

"People in our community are grieving and hurting and they're in a lot of pain,” she said. “And for President Obama to stand there and put his political views before our pain and then have the nerve to come here was just appalling."

Hart was referring to comments Obama made about gun control the day of the shooting.

But some in the crowd welcomed Obama to Roseburg. Phil Benedetti said it's natural that the president would want to come.

"I think he's really here to show his support of the families and to share the sorrow that they must feel," he said.

Funerals for the victims continue this weekend. Students will return to class at Umpqua Community College next week.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.