At least 10 people are dead with seven others injured following a shooting at an Oregon community college. Police have confirmed that 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer opened fire on the Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg, Oregon. Multiple witnesses at the scene claim that Harper-Mercer made victims lay on the ground before having them stand up one-by-one and answer a question about their religious affiliation. The gunmen allegedly shot all followers of Christianity in the head while those who did not proclaim the Christian faith were shot in the leg.
The Blaze reports that victims of the Oregon shooting are proclaiming that Chris Harper-Mercer was specifically targeting people of Christian faith in his rampage on the Umpqua Community College campus. Bodhi Looney posted her grandmother’s account of the shooting on Twitter which outlined that all Christians were shot in the head while those who denied being Christian or remained silent were shot in the leg.
The story was corroborated by another alleged witness to the horrifying shooting named Korney Moore. The 18-year-old student told the News Review that the shooter asked individuals to lay on the floor before having each of them stand and state their religion of choice. Moore noted that the gunman did not open fire until after the victims responded to the question.
Though the motive of the Oregon community college shooting is currently unknown, it appears that Harper-Mercer had an infatuation with mass shootings. Just three days ago, the gunman downloaded This World Surviving Sandy Hook, a 2015 BBC Documentary documentary covering the horrifying elementary school shooting. In addition to watching the Sandy Hook movie, the deranged killer also proclaimed his admiration for Vester Flanagan, the ex-reporter who gunned down two of his former colleagues on live television.
It also appears that the gunman may have posted an anonymous 4chan thread about his intentions before the shooting took place. The 4chan thread, which appeared in an anonymous forum, notes that people living in the northwest should not go to school tomorrow as he had something planned. The thread began by noting that “some of you guys are alright” and not to go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.
Many people on the forum encouraged the anonymous user and even gave him tips on how to pull of the shooting. Some even gave suggestions that sound eerily familiar to what witnesses described at the scene at the Oregon college shooting. Following news of the shooting, it seems that many on the message board believe that the anonymous user was actually Chris Harper-Mercer and that he actually followed through with his plan. Some even seemingly praised the OP for following through with his plan.
Now, according to The Verge, the FBI is investigating the thread in an attempt to determine if Harper-Mercer was the poster in question.
The 911 dispatcher recordings from the horrifying scene reveal that police exchanged gunfire with the shooter before he was eventually shot down. The dispatcher called the shooting a “major trauma” and police were heard in the recording saying it was a mass casualty event with upwards of 20 victims, with approximately 15 deceased.
“I need all traffic to pause unless emergency. Please dispatch as many ambulances as possible to this incident, we have upwards of 20 victims. Upwards of 20 victims, approximately 15 are deceased.”
Though the officers on the recording can be heard saying upwards of 20 victims with 15 deceased, there have only been 10 confirmed casualties with seven injuries.
[Image Credit: KDFW Fox 4 screenshot]