ROSEBURG, Ore. — The gunman who killed nine people on a college campus set out on his rampage armed with six guns, a flak jacket and enough ammunition to do far more damage — an angry, isolated young man whose rage was fueled by animus toward religion and resentment at how his life was unfolding, law enforcement officials said Friday.
At the scene of the carnage, on the campus of Umpqua Community College, investigators found a typed statement several pages long, written by the gunman, who died there in a shootout with the police, describing his life like a deck of cards stacked against him. He was a student at the college and was enrolled in the writing class he targeted, local authorities said on Friday.
“He didn’t have a girlfriend, and he was upset about that,” said a senior law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. “He comes across thinking of himself as a loser. He did not like his lot in life, and it seemed like nothing was going right for him.”
The gunman, who has been identified as Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26, “seems to be someone who was very anti-organized religion,” the official said, adding, “it does not appear like he was part of some larger group.” Investigators are poring through the trail of anger Mr. Mercer left online, including what one official described as “hateful writings,” and through a computer of his that was recovered.

The gunman brought five handguns and a rifle to the college on Thursday morning, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department said, though it was not clear how many of those he fired. He also had two pistols, four rifles and a shotgun in his apartment. In all, he had owned 14 firearms, said Celinez Nunez, an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“All 14 have been traced to a federal firearms dealer,” some bought by the gunman and others by members of his family, said Ms. Nunez, the assistant special agent in charge of the Seattle field office. “They were all purchased legally,” she said.
“We also were able to recover a flak jacket lying next to the rifle at the school,” Ms. Nunez said. “The jacket had steel …Read More