Umpqua Community College in Oregon had never experienced the deadly shooting rampage until a gunman opened fire on that day.
The massacre happened at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on October 1st. The 26 year-old killer, Christopher Harper-Mercer, complained about not having a girlfriend and everyone around him being crazy in his manifesto for this deadly event. This tragedy left 10 dead, including the shooter, and 10 injured. The gunman committed suicide after a shootout with police.
“He seemed like he was excited about everything. He was happy” Tracy Heu, a student in the class and a survivor of the mass shooting, talked to CNN. “He was saying that he was going to join us and he specified one or two minutes, and that he’ll make it not painful at all. He’ll make it quick and easy.”
Heu’s body was covered in the blood from a student next to her who had been killed by a shot in the head, and she tried to pretend to be dead so that Harper-Mercer would not point the gun at her.
“He asked them ‘are you Christian?’ and then they said ‘yes’ and he said ‘good. I’ll send you to God. You’ll be visiting God pretty soon.’ and he shot them” Heu said. “The shooter asked if someone was Catholic and they said ‘yeah’ and he still shoot them.” He still continued to shoot the students regardless of their answers and started to shoot before even asking their religion, so he didn’t seem to target a specific religion.
Then, Harper-Mercer pointed to another student, Mathew Downing. “This is the moment I thought I was going to die” Downing said.
“You are the lucky one. I’m going to let you live. But I’m going to need you to tell the police everything that happened and give them this.” Harper-Mercer said. The shooter gave him an envelope with a flash drive and told him to stand at the corner.
“Other people think I’m crazy, but I’m not. I’m the sane one.” Harper-Mercer said in his grievance on the flash drive, and it also revealed his complaint about not having a girlfriend, the official said. Harper-Mercer’s mother told investigators he was struggling with some mental health issues.
His alias “lithium_love” on some social media sites shows that he was dealing with mental health issues. The drug Lithium is commonly used for treatment for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression.
According to Harper-Mercer’s neighbor, he spent most of his time indoors at his house and was shy and quiet. However, he loved to go to a shooting range with his mother. Even though he was withdrawn usually, he would be very excited to talk about guns.
“When we talked about guns and hunting, he was real open about it,” said neighbors in Torrance, California, where Harper-Mercer and his mother lived until moving to Oregon in 2013.
“10 to 20 percent of all homicides are committed by people with major mental illness” The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported. “For multiple victim homicide in public locations, it appears that at least half are committed by people with major mental illness.”
FBI studies found shootings with the highest number of fatalities is induced by the mentally ill people, and the laws fail to ban the sale of guns to them, and it leads to their deadly acts. The high number of shootings has occurred in states where the gun law is more lenient, which makes easier to get weapons for them.