Chris Harper-Mercer was 26 years old. He shot and killed nine people, injuring at least 10 others on the campus of Umpqua Community College Thursday morning.
According to news outlets who talked with neighbors, Harper-Mercer was described as shy, and always wearing military-style outfits. Websites linked to him include this dating website in which the shooter describes himself as “lover, conservative, professional, intellectual, introvert”. His father, Ian Mercer, met with reporters late Thursday night and had only this to say.
“I am literally as shocked as everybody at what happened today. I have just been talking to the police and FBI and that’s all the details I have right now,” says Mercer.
Different news agencies have said Harper-Mercer had white supremacy leanings. According to NBC News, a note and several other papers were left by the shooter at the scene and expressed racial and social hatred. Harper-Mercer lamented the fact he did not have a girlfriend. Officials say he was depressed and that he said in his letter that he had no life. Although, he did have admiration for Vester Flanagan. He was the former TV reporter who shot and killed two of his former coworkers in Roanoke, Virginia. On a blog he wrote, “Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.”
Harper-Mercer was in the army but discharged after a month. He attended a school for teens with emotional disabilities. In the note he left behind, he said the world was against him. The facts as we know them point to a life of feeling rejected and might have felt that reason enough to take it out on innocent victims.