The Daily Mail is reporting that the Umpqua Community College (UCC) gunman, Chris Harper Mercer, handed a thumb drive containing a “possible manifesto” to one student before opening fire on others on October 1.
The identity of the student to whom Mercer allegedly handed the thumb drive has not been reported, but it could contain more expressions of “racial and social hatred” found among other portions of his writings. He also handed the person a “sheaf of papers.”
According to the Mail, other writings left behind by Mercer “show he celebrated mass murders” and “idolized the IRA and Nazis.” In August he wrote, “The more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight”–a piece of the puzzle that easily fits in place considering Mercer’s reported desire to gain a share of the “limelight” he saw given to Vester Lee Flanagan.
The Mail reports that witnesses say that Mercer “made his victims stand-up and say if they were Christian before telling them: ‘Good, you’ll see God in a second’ and shooting them in the head. If students answered anything other than Christian they were shot in the body.”
The New York Times reports that the 26-year-old Mercer was a “seemingly fragile young man with a shaved head and dark glasses who seemed to recoil from social interaction.” Like Sandy Hook Elementary gunman Adam Lanza, the UCC gunman was very “close to his mother” and she “fiercely protected him.” One neighbor who saw him near his mother’s apartment in Torrance, California, said Mercer would say “hi” but that’s about all they could coax from him, while another neighbor remembers a completely different Mercer–one that would allegedly shout at her if he smelled her cigarette smoke.
Like Lanza, the NYT reports that Mercer engaged his existence by seeking “community on the internet.” It was there that he wrote words of praise for the IRA and posted a photo of himself with a rifle.
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