Family and friends of students and staff at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, where a shooting reportedly left at least seven people dead and more than a dozen wounded Thursday, searched desperately for word that their loved ones were not among the victims. Some students were posting messages to Twitter and Facebook that they were safe.

Jake Backen, a former Umpqua student and native of Roseburg, found out via text message that his sister, a freshman who plays basketball at the college, was not among the casualties. "She texted me and told me she was okay, and that's all I really care about," Backen said Thursday by phone from outside Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Backen, who graduated from Umpqua in 2014, said he is familiar with the area of the campus where the shooting took place. It's at the southernmost part of campus where several laboratory classes are held, Baken said.

"Really, I don’t know why the [shooter] would decide to shoot there," he said. "There's not very many people there normally. It's Thursday, so not many people a [scheduled] class, unless it's a lab."