Site of a shooting at college in Oregon
Site of a shooting at college in Oregon Reuters

Up to 13 people were killed and at least 20 were wounded on Thursday in a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

According to the BBC, a 20-year-old gunman opened fire in a classroom before later being killed himself in a shootout with police.

The motive of the gunman is not known, although police said they were investigating reports that he had warned of his intentions on social media, according to the report.

Lorie Andrews, who lives opposite the campus, said she heard what sounded like fireworks and when she came out of her home she saw students streaming out.

"One girl came out wrapped in a blanket with blood on her," she said.

The 3,000-student school is located in Roseburg, Oregon, a rural area about 175 miles (280 km) south of Portland.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said more than 100 police officers responded to the shooting inside the college's Snyder Hall building.

In audio from police radio channels an officer can be heard saying the suspect was down and that there were "multiple gunshot wounds" and calling for multiple ambulances to the scene.

The suspect supposedly used a "long gun".

The two-year college is made up of about 16 buildings on 100 acres of land along the Umpqua River.

Following the shooting, President Barack Obama demanded tighter gun laws, saying prayers are "no longer enough".

Such shootings - and his own response, he said - had become routine, he said, barely concealing his exasperation.

"We are not the only country on Earth with mental illness or with people who want to harm to each other, but we are the only country that has these mass shootings every few months," he said, according to the BBC.