Completion of the Umpqua Community College police investigation within one year of the Oct. 1, 2015, tragedy is unlikely, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Instead, the agency hopes to have the entire analysis completed by the end of this year.
“We’re hopeful that everything will be wrapped up by the end of the year, but it’s impossible to put a timeline on things,” said Dwes Hutson, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “There’s no way for us to do that, but I do think that we’re hopeful.”
According to Hutson, the sheriff’s office has been waiting for details from the FBI and the Oregon State Crime Lab. As of Friday, Hutson wasn’t sure whether the information from the crime lab had been returned, but knew that the FBI’s behavioral analysis of the shooter was still in progress.
Hutson said his understanding of the analysis is that it will help prevent shootings like the one at UCC from happening in the future, but added he wasn’t certain what to expect from the FBI’s report.
He suggested that the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns early this year could have delayed the FBI from completing the behavioral analysis.
“All the people who were involved in (the UCC investigation) were involved in (the occupation), so it put them behind,” Hutson said.
As for the details from the crime lab, Hutson said he wasn’t sure whether the lab prioritized the shooting over other crimes with pending cases or suspects.
“... There are some pretty important cases that go on, like homicides, that in all reality are probably a higher priority than looking at the UCC stuff,” he said. “Especially if you have murder cases with pending suspects, which I’m guessing they have around the state.”
If the report is completed at the end of 2016 it would have taken officials and agencies 15 months to complete.
Eleven months after the shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, the state’s Division of Criminal Justice released a 48-page final report detailing the sequence of events and newly released information about the shooter, Adam Lanza.
Earlier this month, and 10 months after the shooting in San Bernardino, California, the U.S. Department of Justice released a 162-page critical incident review of the public safety response to the incident.
Hutson said Sheriff John Hanlin and everyone at the department had wanted the investigation to be completed within the first year, but added it simply didn’t work out.
“I think we were hoping it would happen, but it just didn’t,” he said. “Honestly, I’m a little surprised it’s taken this long, but it is what it is.
“I know the sheriff and everyone is anxious to get it done so we can get that part of (the shooting) behind us,” he said.