Chris Harper-Mercer, a student at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, opened fire during his English class on Thursday, October 1st. He killed 9 students before police arrived. But the worst part about this tragedy is his father’s response: it was the fault of the guns, not his son.
Roseburg cops received a 911 call around 10:30 in the morning on October 1st. They rushed to Umpqua Community College and found Chris Harper-Mercer on a rampage. The gunman exchanged shots with the police before turning the weapon on himself and committing suicide.
One of his classmates later reported that the gunman handed one student an envelope, told him he was the lucky one, and instructed him to stand in a corner. Classmate Cheyeanne Fitzgerald said that Chris asked about her religion. When she refused to answer, he shot her in the back. Cheyeanne remains in critical condition.
The following investigation did not link the gunman to any organized groups, but revealed a fascination with the Irish Republican Amy. Blog posts allegedly written by Chris hint at a frustration with the inability to form relationships.
The blog posts also showed that he studied similar shootings. “Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight,” reads a post from August 31st, 2015 that mentions Vester Flanagan.
The most curious part of this tragedy is the killer’s father’s response. While devastated by his son’s actions, he assured the victim’s families that his heart is in the right place:
“I know words cannot bring families back. I know there’s nothing that I can say that can change what happened,” said Ian Mercer. “But please believe me, my thoughts are with all of those families and I hope they can get through this.”
Ian Mercer said that he and his son had a good relationship, but that he hadn’t seen him since he split up with the boy’s mother two years ago. When asked if Chris had any mental or emotional problems, Ian would not comment. That’s for investigators to figure out, he said.
Oregon police later reported that Chris was in the possession of 14 guns, all of which had been purchased legally by him or family members. Ian said that he was unaware his son had any weapons. “I’m a great believer you don’t buy guns, don’t buy guns, you don’t buy guns,” said Ian.
Ian Mercer was later interviewed by CNN about the situation and what he said is truly shocking: “…if Chris had not been able to get hold of 13 guns, it wouldn’t have happened,” Ian told CNN. “That’s what guns are. The killers. It’s as simple as that. It’s black and white. Look all over the world, you don’t see these kind of mass shootings all over the world on a consistent basis like you do in the United States,” said Ian.
It wasn’t Chris’s fault that he shot people, it was America’s fault for providing him the means? Really? Apparently mental instability runs in the family.