Alek Skarlatos Talks Personal Connection to UCC School Shooting on 'Ellen'
On Thursday, "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Alek Skarlatos opened up to Ellen DeGeneres about his connection to Umpqua Community College, which was the site of a tragic school shooting earlier in the day.
Skarlatos revealed, "I had classes in Snyder Hall. I mean, it's a fairly small community college and just the town in general, everybody knows each other, so with that many deceased, I mean, everybody's going to know at least one person. I would have been there today if I didn't agree to do this show. I had classes picked out and everything."
Earlier in the day, Alek released a statement after the news broke that at least nine people were killed by shooter Chris Harper Mercer, who died after being shot by police.
Alek said, "I was enrolled as a student at Umpqua Community College prior to my 2014 deployment to Afghanistan. While I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time in August aboard a train bound for Paris, I only wish that the same could be said for today. I wish that I could have been there today to assist."
Skarlatos became a hero after he risked his life to prevent a gunman from murdering passengers on a train to Paris in August.