On October 1 at around 10:30 a.m., 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer gunman opened fire on Umpqua Community College, killed 13 people and wounded another twenty, causing Oregon’s worst shooting incident in history.
Harper-Mercer started opening fire during his English class at the college and seemed to target Christians. After asking students whether or not they were Christian, he shot those who stated that they were Christian were shot in the head. According to Vicari, the brother of a student in the same English class, all others were shot in other parts of the body. He has been described as anti-government, anti-religious and white supremacist. (LA times)
Harper-Mercer, who grew up in Los Angeles, California with his mother, has been known to be withdrawn and an introvert other than when the conversation has to do with guns and hunting. His mother claims that he has been suffering from mental illness. His father, who had divorced and hasn’t lived with Harper-Mercer, mentioned that he was shocked by the events. Police officers have also found fourteen firearms in his apartment. (LA Times and NY Times)
Through Harper’s social media, police have found that he has been feeling lonely, has an infatuation with guns, and is against organized religion. He has also been found to be sympathizing with other killers, such as Flanagan, who had killed his co-workers. (NY Times)
Chris Mintz, a 30-year-old Army veteran, was shot 7 times by the Harper-Mercer and had both his legs broken. He is now being hailed as a hero for running from building to building to warn the students about Harper-Mercer. (USA Today)
In response to the many shootings that are happening again and again, Obama states, ““Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it … We have become numb to this.”