6 Weapons Found at UCC campus, 7 at Shooter’s Home

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A government official identified Christopher Harper Mercer, 26, as the gunman responsible for killing 9 people and wounding at least 7 others at Umpqua Community College on Thursday.

A federal agency says the gunman had body armor and was armed with three pistols, a rifle and five additional magazines.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives provided the information late Thursday in an incident report obtained by The Associated Press. The guns included a 9mm Glock pistol and .40-caliber Smith & Wesson, both traced to the suspect.

He also had a .40-caliber Taurus pistol traced to someone in Portland and a .556-caliber Del-Ton.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said at a news conference that 6 weapons were recovered at the UCC campus and 7 were found at his apartment.

ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Celinez Nunez said at the news conference that all of the weapons were purchased legally, seven of them by the shooter or his family members in the last three years. She says investigators also found a flak jacket next to a rifle at the school, which contained steel plates.

CNN reported that the US army confirmed on Friday that the gunman served in the US army briefly before being discharged for unknown reasons. They also said that writings were recovered from his apartment.

Investigators were at his nearby apartment throughout the night.

Hanlin also says investigators went door to door in the neighborhoods near the college and the shooter’s apartment to try to learn more details.

He isn’t believed to have a criminal history. Investigators believe he may have been a student there because a receipt found at the scene showed he purchased textbooks from the campus bookstore two days before the shooting.

Officers responded to reports of an active shooter at the school around 10:40 a.m.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hamlin said authorities exchanged gunfire with Mercer in a classroom. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A neighbor of the 26-year-old shooting suspect said he “seemed really unfriendly” and would often sit by himself on a dark balcony.

The shooter and his mother reportedly lived in Torrance, California for several years before moving to Oregon. Neighbors said they often kept to themselves.

The Los Angeles Times said one thing stood out to neighbors in Torrance: they sometimes noticed the mother and son carrying black cases that appeared to hold firearms.

David Westly, 45, told the LA Times Mercer and his mother were asked about the weapons at a community barbecue. According to the neighbor, Mercer didn’t respond to the question, but said he enjoyed target shooting.

A government official said the Umpqua Community College shooter has been identified as Chris Harper Mercer, 26. (Spiritual Passions)
A government official said the Umpqua Community College shooter has been identified as Chris Harper Mercer, 26. (Spiritual Passions)

The suspected shooter’s father, Ian Mercer, spoke to Los Angeles media outside his home on Thursday night.

“I’m just as shocked as anybody at what happened,” he said. “I’ve just been talking to the police and the FBI, really what I know is what you guys know already.”

A Myspace page supposedly belonging to the shooter displays a photo of him holding a gun.

The 26-year-old’s stepsister told CBS Los Angeles he was born in England and traveled to the U.S. as a young boy.

Mercer’s 17-year-old cousin told CBS LA he used to have a temper when they played together as children.

An online dating profile on the website Spiritual Passions appears to belong to the shooter. It lists his hobbies and interests as “internet, killing zombies, movies, music, reading.”

The profile lists his education level as “currently in college” and implies that he lived with his parents.

Other social media profiles suggested he was fascinated by the IRA, frustrated by traditional organized religion and tracked other mass shootings.

There didn’t seem to be many recent connections on the social media sites linked to Chris Harper Mercer, with his MySpace page just showing two friends.

On a torrents streaming site and blog that appeared to belong to Mercer, posts referenced multiple shootings and downloads included several horror films and a documentary on a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

A blog post urged readers to watch the online footage of Vester Flanagan shooting two former colleagues on live TV in Virginia, while another lamented materialism as preventing spiritual development.

A MySpace page that appeared to belong to Mercer included several photos and graphics of the Irish Republican Army as well as a picture of Mercer holding a rifle.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s