Chris Harper-Mercer photo on Myspace

Oregon college shooter: 'Are you a Christian?'

Chris Harper-Mercer, a student at Umpqua college, first kills the teacher, then tells victims 'because you are a Christian you’re going to see God in about one second’; he was shot by police.

A gunman stalked onto a college campus in southwestern Oregon on Thursday and opened fire, asking his victims to declare their religious affiliation before killing at least 10 of them one by one.



A law enforcement source said multiple agencies had identified the shooter as Chris Harper-Mercer. He was slain in an exchange of gunfire with two police officers in Snyder Hall at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg following the morning rampage.


According to the testimony of one of the wounded, Anastasia Boylan, immediately after Harper-Mercer came into the classroom he shot the teacher dead at point blank range. Before getting into surgery Boylan told her father and brother that others were also hit by the initial shooting, and everybody ducked trying to take cover. But ten did not survive.


Chris Harper-Mercer's photo on Myspace (Photo: Myspace) (Photo: Myspace)
Chris Harper-Mercer's photo on Myspace (Photo: Myspace)


After reloading his weapon, the killer asked the students to stand before questioning each of them. :Are you a Christian? If you are a Christian then stand up."


He reportedly told the students, "Because you are a Christian you’re going to see God in about one second" and then he shot and killed them. The killer continue down the line in this fashion. Anastasia herself was wounded in the back and survived the massacre.


Evacuation of the wounded (Photo: Aaron Yost/Roseburg News-Review via AP)
Evacuation of the wounded (Photo: Aaron Yost/Roseburg News-Review via AP)


After killing Harper-Mercer the police announced, "the suspect has been neutralized," and called all available ambulances to the scene. At least 13 students, aged 18 to 34, were evacuated to hospitals in the area, including three in critical condition.


The killer used four guns, including a type of assault rifle, in the classroom attack. He managed to shoot dozens of rounds before being neutralized. A student who was there said that she heard "between 35 and 40 shots in total."


“He appears to be an angry young man who was very filled with hate,” one law enforcement official said. According to the Daily Mail, Harper-Mercer, himself a student at the college, had a profile on a dating site where he described himself as "mixed race," a "conservative Republican" and "not religious."


Bronte Hart, Harper-Mercer's neighbor, told Associated Press that the young man "seemed really unfriendly" and that he would often "sit by himself in the dark in the balcony with this little light."


President Barack Obama said that "our thoughts and prayers are not enough."  He stressed the need for change in US gun laws and said, "it’s fair to say anyone that does this has a sickness in their minds."


Reuters reported that a chain of messages posted to an anonymous chat board called included an ominous warning on Wednesday evening not to go to school on Thursday "if you are in the northwest." Reuters viewed the thread but could not verify its authenticity or whether it had any connection to Thursday's shooting. The college will be closed until Monday.


Reuters contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 10.02.15, 11:03
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