The usually sleepy town of Roseburg, Oregon was shocked and captulated to nationwide notoriety in 2015, when a gunman opened fire at a college, killing nine. Today, Oregon authorities released the six-page "manifesto," according to the Associated Press, of Christopher Harper-Mercer, who opened fire at Umpqua Community College.
The letter was found on a thumb drive given to police by a student who Mercer single-handedly picked out at the beginning of the shooting. The shooter told him he would survive if he hand-delivered the drive to police. Authorities have finally released the contents today.
The gunman wrote of how he studied the methods of other mass shooters, particularly the Sandy-Hook mass shooting. The 26-year-old wrote that when he dies he hopes to return "to kill again and again."
Mercer wrote he was part of a "demonic Hierarchy," and "paints himself as a 'loser,' with nothing to live for and no successes in life," according to the AP. “
"My whole life has been one lonely enterprise. One loss after another. And here I am, 26, with no friends, no job, no girlfriend, a virgin,” he wrote.
Mercer died of a self-inflicted gunshot injury after being wounded by police. Authorities later found nine guns stashed in a bag, in a restroom at the community college and at his home.
“But for people like me there is another world, a darker world that welcomes us. For people like us this (is) all that’s left,” he wrote. “My success in Hell is assured.”
Both Roseburg Police and the FBI conducted their own investigations and interviewed the killers mother, Laurel Harper, who told police that Mercer was "born angry, who had fierce tantrums as a young child that required her to pin him in a "bear hug," according to a report by the Washington Post.
The Post reported that, "As a young child, he opened the door of a car while his mother was driving on a freeway and tried to jump out, she said. He was hospitalized and eventually placed on psychiatric medications, but he stopped taking the drugs when he turned 18, she said.
"He pointed a gun in his mother’s face after getting kicked out of U.S. Army boot camp when he was 19 or 20, she said, and watched videos of killings on a computer in his room."
His mother reflected that he seemed "less volatile" after they moved from California to Roseburg in 2013. The Post reported that, "When she got an automated phone message about an active shooting on her son’s college campus, she said she first called a hospital to see if he was there and then called the jail to see if he’d been arrested.
"When Harper could not find him, she checked his room to see if his guns were missing but could not tell because his room was so messy.
"At one point, officers asked if she needed anything.
"She replied, “I think I need my son back. I need to understand, really why he did this. I don’t. I’m guessing.”