Police sources have indentified the shooter at the Umpqua Community College mass shooting as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. With the ID’ing of Mercer, the search for clues is on to try to make sense of the mass murder in rural Oregon on Thursday. Here’s what we know, or think we know, so far.
Much of the early focus has centered on Mercer’s online profiles. On an online dating profile using the username IRONCROSS45, which appears to belong to Mercer, he describes himself as currently in college, living with his parents, and making less than $25,000 a year. The profile says Mercer had not accessed the account in the past three months, so it’s important to note some of the information listed may be out of date. On his profile, Mercer portrays himself as a nondrinker, who’s never done drugs, with an affinity for working out.
Here’s the Daily Beast on Mercer’s Myspace profile:
A MySpace account belonging to Christopher Harper-Mercer is registered to Torrance, California. Harper-Mercer and his mother previously lived in Torrance before moving to an apartment in Winchester, Oregon, where neighbors tell The Daily Beast there is a heavy police presence currently. The MySpace page features a photo of Harper-Mercer holding a gun and smiling into the camera. The profile includes images of pro-Irish Republican Army propaganda.
Pro-IRA propaganda images on the MySpace social media page of Oregon mass shooting suspect Chris Harper Mercer pic.twitter.com/0KqAPO5eaO— Simon Carswell (@SiCarswell) October 2, 2015
Mercer listed one of his “dislikes” on the profile as “organized religion” which may shed some light on the eyewitness account of 18-year-old student Kortney Moore during the shooting. “[The shooter] told people to get on the ground. The shooter was asking people to stand up and state their religion and then started firing away, Moore said,” according to the local NRToday.
“In one post from a blog kept on a torrent-uploading website, a user who would seem to be Mercer meditates on the actions of Vester Flanagan, the deranged man who filmed himself fatally shooting two former co-workers this summer,” Gawker reports.
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 your’re in the limelight.
“In a posting in morguepenpals.yolasite.com he wrote he liked movies: 'Horror movies are the best, but I also like some action films, depending on the type, and I like crime dramas as well,'” BuzzFeed reports.
*This post has been updated.