Oregon gunman was 'weird'

2015-10-03 17:12
SWAT team member.  (Stewart F House, AFP, file)

SWAT team member. (Stewart F House, AFP, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Roseburg - The gunman slain by police after he killed his English professor and eight others at an Oregon college was once turned away from a firearms academy by an instructor who recalled finding him "weird" and "a little bit too anxious" for high-level weapons training.

Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26, who moved to Oregon from the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California, was officially identified on Friday as the assailant in the rampage at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, which ranks as the deadliest among dozens of US mass shootings in the past two years.

According to accounts of survivors, the gunman stormed into the classroom of his introductory writing class to shoot the professor at point-blank range, then began picking off other victims one at a time as he questioned each about their religion and whether they were Christians.

Harper-Mercer had a month-long stint in the Army in 2008 and a preoccupation with weaponry that dated back at least two years.

He sought to register for training in 2012 or 2013 at Seven 4 Para, a private self-defence and law enforcement training academy in Torrance, but Eloy Way, president and head instructor for the centre, said he sent Harper-Mercer away.

Animosity toward blacks

"We wanted him to take a beginner safety course and he was trying to tell me that he already had experience with firearms and I didn't get a good feeling about him, so I turned him down," Way said.

"He was just kind of a weird guy and seemed kind of spoiled, immature," Way said. "He was a little bit too anxious to get high-level training and there was no reason for it."

Authorities have disclosed little of what they may know about the gunman's motives.

The shooter left behind a "multipage, hated-filled" statement in the classroom, according to a Twitter message from an NBC reporter, citing multiple law enforcement sources who were not identified. CNN, citing sources, said the statement showed animosity toward blacks.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who has vowed never to say the gunman's name, declined to comment when asked about the writings at a news conference.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.