Survivors try to make sense of Oregon college shooting

OREGON -- As police investigate Thursday's mass shooting at a college in Oregon, neighbors are seeking answers of their own-- even as they battle through immense pain.

At New Beginnings Church, Pastor Randy Scroggins speaks often about salvation. But his new story of a life saved was particularly personal. His 18-year-old daughter Lacey was sitting in the front row because she survived the shooting in her college classroom.

"And then Lacey remembers a huge bang close to her head," Pastor Scroggins recalls. "She said daddy my ears started to ring. I couldn't hear."

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18-year-old Lacey, center, listens to her father's sermon at church. CBS News

Next to her in the classroom was 20-year-old Treven Anspach, who had been shot. His body fell across her, his blood flowed over her.

"She thought she was going to die," Pastor Scroggins said.

He asked his daughter what she was thinking at the time.

"And she said 'daddy, number one I started to pray. And I knew -- I was dying today. I knew this was my last day,'" Pastor Scroggins said. "And he said 'get up, get up' -- and she was froze to the floor, she played dead. Then, the shooter looked at the girl next to Lacey who he had already shot and said, 'Is she dead?' And the woman said, 'I don't know.' He crossed over Lacey and shot the next one. I believe with all that I have, that the blood of Treven saved my little girl."

There was another survivor, apparently given a message by the shooter.

"I understood that by the words of my daughter that he (shooter) gave him something, even mentioned a flash-drive that is in this thing that he gave to the young man," the pastor said. "And he actually said 'this will explain why I'm doing what I'm doing.' As a father, there is no explanation for what happened Thursday."

Investigators have not spoken to the contents of that flash-drive. For Pastor Scroggins, the day of the shooting ended with a reunion with his daughter outside the college.

"She got out of the car and she had blood all over. It was all over her arm, and all over her side, and her pants, her other hand," the pastor recalled. "I remember wrapping my arms around her and we just squeezed. Man, she squeezed me and I squeezed her. It was, it was the best hug I ever had in my life. And then I put her in the car and took her to mom."

Pastor Scroggins says his daughter is still struggling, but tells him she is determined to return to a normal life.

  • John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.