Oregon Mass Shooting

Ken AshfordCrime, Gun ControlLeave a Comment

As my tweets suggested yesterday, there was yet another mass shooting yesterday — this one at Umpqua Community College (“UCC”) in Oregon.  Nine killed, not including the shooter, and seven injured.

I will not name the killer.  In these circumstances, I often do name the killer, but one of the things that has come out is he wrote on his blog, a few days ago, that mass-killers go from unknown to famous in one day (his name is easily found on the Internets).  That suggests he was seeking notoriety, and I don’t want to contribute to that.

He walked into a classroom at UCC with four guns [UPDATE: six guns on campus, plus another seven at his home], and shot and killed the teacher point blank. As he was reloading his handgun, he ordered the students to stand up if they were Christians.  And they stood up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second”.  And then he shot and killed them.  Students who didn’t stand were shot in the leg.

Police on the scene eventually shot and killed the assailant.

These are the reports right now, but they are still not confirmed.  Some reports say he asked each student individually if they were Christian.  As usual, early reports are often not accurate.

But we know more about the shooter.  He was mixed race (white/black), age 26, and, according to an online dating profile, a “conservative Republican”.  The same profile said he did not believe in organized religion.

His motive is not known.  Although he was opposed to organized religion, and he reportedly made the “see God” comment, nothing else about him made it seem like he was radical in his anti-religion views [UPDATE:  And possibly a white supremacist, despite being half-black].  Nothing in his background made it seem like it was politically motivated.

He was reportedly shy and a loner.  Never had a girlfriend.

The email address used on the dating site was also associated with the profile of user Lithium-Love on torrent sharing website KickAssTorrents.  Lithium is the drug used by those with bipolar disorder, suggesting he had emotional problems.

The user wrote a blog post on the KickAssTorrents site about Vester Flanagan, the man who shot dead two reporters during a live broadcast in August before killing himself, calling the footage of the shooting “good”.  The post went on to say:

On an interesting note, I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.

The user’s last torrent upload was on Tuesday and was entitled “This World Surviving Sandy Hook BBC Documentary 2015,” according to the website.

UPDATE:  He left a note…

The heavily armed gunman who slaughtered nine people at an Oregon college left a hate-filled note at the scene of his rampage and “felt the world was against him,” law enforcement officials confirmed Friday.

Two officials familiar with the contents of the note say 26-year-old Christopher Harper Mercer, who was killed in a firefight Thursday with police at Umpqua Community College, wrote that he would be “welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil.”

He wrote that he was “in a bad way,” one official said. “He was depressed, sullen.”

The officials said Mercer lamented the fact that he did not have a girlfriend. “He said he had no life,” another official said.