“The More People You Kill, The More You’re In The Limelight”

Photo: Myspace/Visual/ ZUMA Press.
Chris Harper Mercer walked onto Umpqua Community College's campus yesterday and single-handedly executed the 45th school shooting in the U.S. this year. He killed 9 people, and injured seven, before he was killed in the crossfire. The police released Mercer's name and age — 26 — around 9 p.m. on Thursday evening. Today, more details about the shooter and his motivations have emerged. Authorities announced Friday that they'd found 13 weapons registered to Mercer or his family, including six (five pistols and a rifle) with him, at the time of the shooting, CNN reported. Mercer kept a sparse Myspace page. The page's profile picture shows him holding a gun. "Me, holding a rifle. It was supposed to be all the way in the picture, but it didn't work out. Only the barrel shows," he wrote. The only other photo of Mercer shows him in a tuxedo on his sister's wedding day. His other images are tributes to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), a militia group based in Northern Ireland that seeks independence from the rest of the country, sometimes through terrorist activities. On a black-and-white shot of gun-toting figures wearing balaclavas in a rain-slick alleyway, Mercer left the caption, "Looking cool defending their country." Spiritual Passions, a dating website, featured a profile for Mercer until Friday morning. The profile no longer appears, but screenshots of it are circulating on the internet. If the page was his, Mercer's username was "Ironcross45." He liked the internet, killing zombies, movies, music, and reading. He described himself as mixed race and fit. "Always Dieting," he wrote. He added that he never wanted kids, was shy "but warm[ed] up quickly," and a lover. The New York Times interviewed people in Mercer's Winchester, OR neighborhood, where he lived most recently, and in his old neighborhood in Torrance, CA. They remembered Mercer as a protected recluse who wore the same combat boots, green army pants, and white t-shirt every day. In both Oregon and California, Mercer lived alone with his mother, Laurel Harper. Their relationship was atypical enough to be memorable. A neighbor said that once, Harper went door-to-door in their apartment building asking tenants to sign a petition to the landlord — she wanted help exterminating roaches she claimed were unsettling her son's "mental issues." The Times' report also connected Mercer's email address with an account on file-sharing website called lithium_love. The account user posted about everyday life and news events, including the recent shooting of two Virginia-based news anchors while they reported on live TV. "I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone," the user wrote of Vester Flannagan II, the man who shot the reporters. "Yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone...Seems the more people you kill, the more you're in the limelight."

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