ROSEBURG, Ore. —Investigators including cyber experts and hate crime specialists peered Friday into the life of a 26-year-old gunman whose massacre across an Oregon campus may have been driven by religious rage and a fascination with the twisted notoriety of high-profile killers.
What is known so far about the attacker — identified by a U.S. law enforcement official as Chris Harper Mercer — appear only as loose strands that suggested an interest in firearms and the infamy gained by mass shooters.
Witnesses also said he seemed to seek specific revenge against Christians, and police examined Web posts that hinted of wider antipathy toward organized faith.
But authorities still struggled to build a clearer picture at what drove the California-raised Mercer to stalk rural Umpqua Community College — armed with three pistols and a semiautomatic rifle — and methodically pick off students and professors Thursday on the fourth day of the fall semester.
At the end, nine people were dead, plus Mercer, and the college joined the mournful roster of America’s mass shooting sites.
[274 days, 294 gun deaths or injuries]
At least 10 others were admitted for treatment at the Mercy Medical Center, said the chief medical officer, Jason Gray, on Friday. Three patients were transferred to larger facilities for more intensive care, he added.
“The days and weeks ahead will be the most challenging” as the small community copes with the aftermath, Gray said.
The names of those killed and wounded were not yet released nor would Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin name the shooter publicly, more out of rage than discretion. “I will not name the shooter,” he said at a news conference Thursday night. “I will not give him credit for this horrific act of cowardice. Media will get the name confirmed in time … but you will never hear us use it.”

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin says he won’t name the man who killed nine people on a community college campus on Oct. 1. The gunman, identified by a federal official as Chris Harper Mercer, was also killed. (Associated Press)

The transition from the anonymity of “before” to the notoriety of “after” took just about 10 terrifying minutes, during which the alleged shooter strode through a school building armed with three pistols and a semiautomatic rifle. Clad …Read More