Chris Harper Mercer has been named as the alleged gunman who went on a mass killing spree at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Oct. 1, where 9 people were killed and 7 others were seriously injured. So who is he? Here are five things you should know about Chris Harper Mercer.
Chris Harper Mercer, 26, has been named as the alleged gunman who opened fire on the Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg, Oregon on the morning of Oct. 1. Ten people are confirmed dead, including the gunman, while seven others remain seriously injured. Here are five things you should know about Mercer and the shooting.
1. He planned the deadly rampage.
The night before the massacre, Chris allegedly revealed his murderous plans in posts on the website 4Chan, according to the NY Daily News. Screenshots taken from the site show that it’s possible he may have chatted with others about his plan to go on a shooting spree. A post read, “Some of you guys are alright. Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.” Another message was reportedly addressed to “fellow robots” and wished readers “an enjoyable Elliot Rodger day,” which referenced the man who shot and killed six people near the Santa Barbara University campus on May 23, 2014.
It went on to read, “Personally I will mark this day’s celebration of our Hero’s deeds by announcing that I have an elaborate plan…Needless to say; it shall be glorious. The horrible kind of normies will pay for their misdeeds, and the world will be bettered.”
2. He asked students to state their religion and then started firing.
Witnesses said the gunman told the students in a classroom to stand up and state their religion before he began firing away. Kortney Moore, an 18-year-old student, told a local newspaper called the News-Review, that she was in her writing class in Snyder Hall when a shot came through a window. She said she saw her teacher, later identified as Professor Larry Levine, get shot in the head and the gunman entered the room, telling people to get on the ground. Moore said he then told people to stand up and state their religion, before firing away. She was lying on the ground with people who were shot. Army veteran Chris Mintz, 30, was shot 7 times after trying to stop the attack.
3. He had a dating profile.
On an online dating profile, Chris identified himself as “mixed race.” He also stated that he doesn’t want kids, doesn’t drink, and is a Conservative Republican.
4. A 4Chan user and avid YouTube poster was misidentified as the suspect.
Before the actual name of the shooter was released, a different name, Toby Reynolds, also known as Egg Man, spread on social media and some websites, identifying him as the shooter. He called NBC News and told them he was alive and not the shooter. The two are not related in any way.
5. He was armed with four guns and was killed after a shootout with police.
After opening fire and going from classroom to classroom in Snyder Hall, systematically killing students, Chris became involved in a shootout with police. He was armed with four guns, three handguns and an AR-15-style long gun, according to CNN. Chris was reported to be down about 9 minutes after the shooting was first reported to police. It’s not yet known if he was killed by police or turned the gun on himself.
Our thoughts continue to go out to the victims’ families and friends during this difficult time.
— Alyssa Montemurro