The gunman from Thursday’s (October 1) shooting at an Oregon school, Chris Harper-Mercer, had a fixation with guns and religion, the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to a source from federal law enforcement, which is remaining anonymous until the investigation of the shooting closes, Harper-Mercer was not only obsessed with guns, but he also had a proclivity towards white supremacy.
The source mentioned above also said that Oregon law officers were searching cars on campus following the shooting. It is known that Harper-Mercer had extra ammunition available to him during the shooting, but it is unknown whether he had the ammunition on him or if he had left it in his car.
The shooter’s apartment was found to have weapons in it during an inspection of the residence. Oregon sheriff John Hanlin indicated that neighbors and a few individuals at Umpqua Community College in Oregon were questioned about Harper-Mercer in order for authorities to gain a better understanding of the gunman and events surrounding the horrific Oregon shooting.
Last year, Hanlin argued in opposition of state and federal gun-control laws. He argued that criminals would not be prevented from acquiring weapons just by implementing government mandated background checks. In a letter to Joe Biden in 2012, Hanlin declared that he would refuse to enforce any laws that were “offending the constitutional rights of my citizens.” Hanlin indicated Friday that despite the shooting in his own town, his attitude and viewpoint towards gun-control legislation has not changed.
As reported by CNN, Hanlin told the press that he did not plan to announce Harper-Mercer by name as the gunman in the shooting. He refused to give the Oregon shooter any recognition.
“I don’t want to glorify the shooter, I don’t want to glorify his name, I don’t want to glorify his cause. I’m refusing to state his name… You won’t hear his name from me or this investigation.”
Hanlin urges the media to not focus on the perpetrator of the Oregon shooting but to “focus your attention on the victims and the families and helping them get through this difficult time.”
In his horrific attack, Harper-Mercer killed 10 people and left at least 10 people injured. A local hospital in Oregon, Mercy Medical Center, treated 10 people at their facilities after the shooting. Dr. Jason Gray, a member of the staff at the medical center, said that Thursday was difficult for the hospital and the rural Oregon community. He feels that it will only get more difficult for those affected by this horrendous violence.
“Yesterday was a challenging day. The days and weeks ahead will be the most challenging… The initial emotions are disbelief. It’s still very raw.”
According to Gray, the average age of the victims was young. There were varying ages of both men and women. Among the injuries of the victims of the Oregon shooting, there were those with gunshot wounds in their abdomen or their head. Out of the 10 patients treated, one died from injuries. Two of the patients were administered to and released from the hospital. Three were transferred to a facility that could provide a higher level of care for the patients’ wounds.
Out of those remaining, one patient was released on Thursday and another is expected to be released Friday. The two that will still be at the hospital sustained more severe injuries from the shooting, and though one of the patients is currently in stable condition, the other was listed as being in critical condition.
The Oregon town where the shooting took place is a small, rural town. Chief Executive Kelly Morgan of Mercy Medical Center indicated that a good portion of the staff had gone to the Oregon community college that the shooting took place at, and those who had attended the college more than likely knew some of the victims.
“I assure you, every single person at the hospital will be impacted.”
The family of the Oregon shooting gunman was “shocked” at the events that took place. The father would not give a comment, but his stepsister said that “it doesn’t sound right.”
[Photos Courtesy of Scott Olsen & Michael Lloyd/Getty Images]