Chris Harper Mercer was identified as the Oregon community college shooting suspect who police say killed at least 13 people in a mass shooting on the campus of Umpqua Community College before being shot to death by police, and now a picture has emerged online of a self-described “loner.”
Harper may have predicted the shooting, with a post on the image-sharing site 4chan seemingly predicting the massacre.
The shooting took place on Thursday morning, with Chris Harper Mercer allegedly opening fire at around 10:30 a.m. local time. Police had initially identified the suspect as a 20-year-old man, adding that they recovered four guns from the scene that belonged to the shooter, Reuters noted.
The Oregon community college shooting is the latest in a string of mass shootings, including one at a church in Charleston that left nine people dead and a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed 27 lives plus the life of the shooter. The killings have spurred calls for a stronger mental health system and stricter gun control.
After the shooting, President Barack Obama noted that this kind of tragedy is happening all too often.
“Somehow this has become routine,” Obama said. “The reporting is routine. My response here, at this podium, ends up being routine….We’ve become numb to this.”
In the wake of the Oregon mass shooting, some disturbing details emerged. Kortney Moore told the News Review that the gunman fired through her classroom window, striking her professor in the head, and the gunman then entered.
Moore said the gunman told students to get on the ground, then asked them to stand up and state their religion.
Brady Winder, a pre-nursing student, shared on Facebook his account of the events.
“Hey everybody, I am safe. Currently on a bus with other students being transferred to the fairgrounds while they clear out the whole campus. I was in Snyder 14, opposite side of the wall where the shooting was. The short part is that we heard a bunch of gun shots and all bolted and scattered. I ran to the edge of the campus, down a hill and waited. From talking with a student in the classroom where it happen, almost every person in the room was shot by a man with 4 guns. I’m still shaken up and am having a hard time processing what I heard and what happened. I can’t wrap my mind around this. Please just pray for the families and parents of these students.”
Chris Harper Mercer may have left clues to the shooting, with a post on 4chan allegedly predicting the shooting. The post warned of violence the next day.
“Some of you guys are alright. Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.
happening thread will be posted tomorrow morning
so long space robots”
Some 4chan users tried to persuade the shooter not to go through with it, but others went along, even trying to give hint on how to kill more people.
But Mercer seemed to revel in the attention he believed he would receive, writing, “This is the only time I’ll ever be in the news.”
— Jim Naureckas (@JNaureckas) October 2, 2015
A more complete picture of Chris Harper Mercer’s online life has started to emerge in the hours since he was identified by police. In a profile on Morgue Penpals (obtained by Heavy.com), he wrote,
“I’m 20 years old, in college, I like to listen to music, mostly goth/punk/industrial/electronic, and I love to watch movies, Horror movies are the best, but i also like some action films, depending on the type, and I like crime dramas as well. I’m looking for penpals who are similar to me, but anyone is welcome to email me.”
In another profile for the site Spiritual Passions, Mercer described himself as a “loner” and listed his hobbies as “internet, killing zombies, movies, music, reading.”
Police have not yet said if Oregon college shooting suspect Chris Harper Mercer gave any indication of a motive for Thursday’s shooting.
[Image via Imgur, Myspace/Chris Harper Mercer via Heavy.com]