Umpqua Community College does not appear to have a school mascot but after October 1st, 2015 the small rural college in Oregon will have no problem being remembered-and not under fortunate circumstances.
The mass shooting that flooded social media and news forums left at least 9 dead, and many more injured before the gunman took his own life. Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26, has been identified as the shooter. Upon entering a classroom, in which he was actually a student, Harper-Mercer demanded the victims to voice their religious beliefs at gunpoint before the shooting began.
At only 26, it appears that Harper-Mercer was dealing with a number of personal trials. After his parents divorce, dropping out of basic training for the US Army, attending a private school in California for students with learning disabilities, and moving from California to Oregon, he was enrolled at UCC. The details surrounding these events in Harper-Mercer’s young life are limited, however he left behind much of his online persona.
The gunman went by IRONCROSS45 on the online dating site Spiritual Passions. On his profile he describes himself, or his outward persona as …”mixed race”…”conservative”…”introvert”…”not religious, but spiritual”…”Shy at first, but warm up quickly, better in small groups”.
In an interview with The New York Times, one of the two vocal survivors spoke about her morning on October 1st and why she doesn’t think the shootings were necessarily driven by the victims’ religious beliefs.
In a brief clip from The Guardian, Harper-Mercer’s step-sister and father both seem shocked over the event. Oregon is at least the 15th mass shooting that President Obama has had to address in his presidency, and the 45th shooting at a U.S. school this year.