Oregon gunman was kicked out of Army, studied mass shooters – Chicago Tribune
The 26-year-old gunman who opened fire in a community college English class, killing nine, was an Army boot camp dropout who studied mass shooters before becoming one himself.
A day after the rampage in an Oregon timber town, authorities said Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer wore a flak jacket and brought at least six guns and five ammunition magazines to the school. Investigators found another seven guns at the apartment he shared with his mother.
Officials on Friday released the names, ages and brief biographical information about the nine dead, who ranged in age from 18 to 67 and included several freshmen and a teacher. They were sons and daughters, spouses and parents.
One of the freshmen was active in the Future Farmers of America and loved to play soccer. Another was on only his fourth day of college.
Grieving families began sharing details of their loved ones.
“We have been trying to figure out how to tell everyone how amazing Lucas was, but that would take 18 years,” the family of Lucas Eibel, 18, said in a statement released through the Douglas County Sheriff’s office.
Quinn Glen Cooper’s family said their son had just started college.
“I don’t know how we are going to move forward with our lives without Quinn,” the Coopers said. “Our lives are shattered beyond repair.”
Nine other people were wounded in the attack, officials said.
Harper-Mercer, who died during a shootout with police, was armed with handguns and a rifle, some of which were military grade. The weapons had been purchased legally over the past three years, some by him, others by relatives, said Celinez Nunez, assistant field agent for the Seattle division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Those who knew the shooter described a deeply troubled loner.
At a different apartment complex where Harper-Mercer and his mother lived in Southern California, neighbors remembered a quiet and odd young man who rode a red bike everywhere.
Reina Webb, 19, said the man’s mother was friendly and often chatted with neighbors, but Harper-Mercer kept to himself. She said she occasionally heard him having temper tantrums in his apartment.
“He was kind of like a child so that’s why his tantrums would be like kind of weird. He’s a grown man. He shouldn’t be having a tantrum like a kid. That’s why I thought there was something — something was up,” she said.
Harper-Mercer’s social media profiles suggested he was …Read More