The death Chris Harper-Mercer, the alleged gunman in the gruesome massacre at Umpqua Community College, has been ruled a suicide. Though Chris was in a harrowing standoff with police during the attack, it’s been found that he shockingly took his own life.
Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, the alleged gunman behind the horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on October 1, died by suicide, according to Officials from Douglas County. Though it’s been ruled that he took his own life after allegedly taking those of nine innocent victims, Oregon State Police are still investigating whether or not his gunshot wound was officer-inflicted.
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said in a press conference on October 3 that the medical examiner ruled his death a suicide, but the state police still have questions. At the time of Chris’ death, three officers were on the scene: two Roseburg police department officers and one Oregon state trooper. The police were in a tense standoff with Chris, but ultimately, the man took his own life.
Mercer apparently killed himself in a classroom, according to Stephanie Salas, the mother of victim Rand McGowan, who saw the suicide occur. “[Chris] killed himself in the classroom,” Stephanie told PEOPLE. “All the students were like, ‘Is he dead? Is he gone?’ Then they stood up and he said he saw the killer with a big hole in his head.”
Our thoughts are with the entire Roseburg community
— Samantha Wilson