Oregon college shooting suspect Chris Harper Mercer was initially identified as a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, but new evidence from the 26-year-old’s internet history appears to indicate exactly the opposite.
In the hours after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon that left nine people dead and another nine wounded, there was rampant speculation about the motive for the brutal attack. After police identified Chris Harper Mercer as the suspect, many dug up his online writings and website profiles to gain more information.
Some people, noting that the suspect identified as mixed race, speculated that support of the Black Lives Matter movement prompted Chris Harper Mercer to attack the Oregon community college, targeting white students.
— Vanguard 14 (@keksec_org) October 2, 2015
Finding out the motive will take some work for police, as the suspected Oregon community college gunman was killed in a shootout with police, and like others killed during mass shootings his true intentions may never be known. But the stories connecting him to the Black Lives Matter movement appear to be solidly debunked. In a blog post from earlier this year, Chris Harper Mercer called out the Black Lives Matter and lamenting the shooting of Texas police officer Darren Goforth. Though the post appears to have been taken down, Addicting Info posted a screen capture of Mercer’s rant against the Black Lives Matter movement.
“On the Houston [sic] shooting it was reported that the suspect was influenced by black lives matter protests/movement,” he wrote. Noting that he could not confirm if the highly-touted right-wing assertion was true, he explained that ” with all the issues about police and blacks/protestors in the news the past couple of years, it certainly seems like someone would be inspired to take action.” “With the constant chants of anti police rhetoric this was bound to happen, adding that he’s “on the side of the officer, and generally don’t agree with the black lives matter protests.”
While it seems clear that Chris Harper Mercer was not a Black Lives Matter supporter, there has been some indication of his possible motive for the attack. Reports indicated that he asked victims about their religion, shooting those who answered that they were Christian.
— Kyung Lah (@KyungLahCNN) October 2, 2015
Anastasia Boylan said that Mercer walked into the classroom and started shooting, specifically asking victims about their religion.
“And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second,'” Boylan’s father, Stacy, told CNN, relaying her account.
“And then he shot and killed them.”
Boylan herself was shot in the spine. She told her father that the shooter called out for her after she was shot, but Boylan played dead and he moved on.
While it appears that the motives of suspected Oregon community college shooter Chris Harper Mercer were not racial, other recent killings have been connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. Goforth’s slaying in Texas was connected to the movement, which aims for reform in police procedures as a reaction to high-profile killings of black suspects by police across the country. Another killing, the execution of officer Charles Gliniewicz in Chicago, was also connected to the Black Lives Matter movement.
But, despite what appears to be clear evidence that Chris Harper Mercer did not support Black Lives Matter, the rumors of his connection were still rampant on Twitter and other social media communities.
[Image via MySpace]