As investigators piece together events leading up to Thursday's mass shooting at an Oregon community college, a disturbing portrait emerges of the 26-year-old gunman.
In information gleaned from social media accounts associated with an email address for Chris Harper Mercer, who officials say gunned down nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., police have uncovered “ramblings about his racial animus toward black people and general feelings of anger about being isolated and unable to make relationships,” CNN reports.
Reasons for his isolation, inability to form relationships and hatred toward blacks are unclear. But some family members told investigators that he had mental-health problems and had sought treatment, the report says.
Other relatives told the Daily Beast that Harper Mercer's father is white and his mother, whom neighbors described as fiercely protective of him, is black. And an online dating profile identified him as “mixed race,” a “conservative, republican,” with a “dislike” of “organized religion.” He reportedly singled out Christians in his attack.
The online screeds also show a fascination with the Irish Republican Army, law-enforcement officials told CNN. A MySpace page associated with the killer includes his images and IRA posters. But the probe so far has not found any link with any organized groups.
He arrived on campus heavily armed and wearing body armor, the report says. He was enrolled in English and theater classes at the school. He opened fire in an English class.
CNN reports that Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who vowed not to utter the killer’s name, on Friday identified those slain as Lucero Alcaraz, 19; Treven Taylor Anspach, 20; Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18; Quinn Glen Cooper, 18; Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; Lucas Eibel, 18; Jason Dale Johnson, 34; Lawrence Levine, 67, a teacher; and Sarena Dawn Moore, 44.