On Thursday October 1, 2015, a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, killing nine people and injuring nine others.
Authorities have identified 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer as the gunman, adding that they were unwilling to identify the shooter on Thursday evening because they did not want to glorify his actions.
Mercer was among those killed after engaging in a shootout with two police officers that had responded minutes after the first emergency call at 10:38 a.m. It is unclear whether he was killed in the shootout or if he took his own life.
Neither of the officers sustained any injuries, according to reports.
Law enforcement also confirmed that a “hate-filled note” was found at the scene of his rampage. One official familiar with the note said that Mercer claimed to be “in a bad way.”
“He was depressed, sullen,” the officer said.
Another official said that Mercer went out of his way to highlight that he did not have a girlfriend, adding, “He said he had no life.”
While many media outlets are looking to Mercer’s internet profiles and activities to draw conclusions on a possible motive, Douglas County Sherrif John Hanlin told NBC’s TODAY that it is “too soon to tell.”
"He is a local resident and I know personally I haven't heard of any warning signs coming from this person," Hanlin said.
An online public records search shows one man by the same name that lived near Los Angeles and recently moved to Winchester, Oregon, 2.1 miles away from the college campus that the shooting occurred.
Army officials confirmed earlier today that Mercer had enlisted in the U.S. Army from Nov. 5 to Dec. 11, 2008 and was station at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. However, he was discharged for “failing to meet the minimum administrative standards to serve,” the Army spokesman told NBC.
A profile on a dating site for “spiritual singles” with his name and birthday was found by media outlets.
"Looking for someone who shares my beliefs, and is similar to me," the profile reads.
It also lists his hobbies as, "Internet, killing zombies, movies, music,” and adds that he is "not religious, but spiritual.” The profile also followed a group that “doesn’t like organized religion.”
NBC reports that while other media outlets claim that Mercer “asked people whether they were Christian before firing,” a witness said “he never heard the gunman ask about religion and never even heard the gunman’s voice.”
Another witness, Anastasia Boylan, told her father on her way into spinal surgery that Mercer had entered her classroom and said, "I've been waiting to do this for years,” then shot the professor teaching the class at point blank range.
As he was reloading his gun, the witness claimed that he ordered students to stand, then proceeded to ask whether or not they were Christian.
"And they would stand up and he said, 'Good, because you're a Christian, you're going to see God in just about one second,'" Boylan's father, Stacy, told CNN, relaying her account. “And then he shot and killed them.”
Boylan also told her father of a box Mercer gave to a student.
“[He] said, 'You gotta deliver this.' Somebody has a box. I don't know what that's about,” Boylan's father said.
According to CNN, early reports indicate that the shooting occurred between two classrooms, which might explain why there are two different accounts of what happened.
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"I looked over outside, and people were running away from the building, so I knew exactly what had just happened," freshman Sarah Cobb, who was on campus during the shooting, told CNN. "I said to the teacher, 'We got to get out of here. There's people running. We need to go.' Then I heard the second and third gunshots happen."
He was reportedly wearing body armor and was carrying three pistols, a rifle, and five extra magazines.
Mercer’s neighbor, Byran Clay, said he would see Mercer every day after school, and claimed that he liked to keep to himself.
"I'd see Chris, shaved head, combat boots, camo pants and a plain brown or white shirt," Clay told NBC Los Angeles. "He would really just walk really fast, avoid anybody who came towards him."
His family paints a much different picture, claiming that he was a “nice guy,” that “put everyone before himself.”
“He wanted everyone to be happy,” Mercer’s stepsister, Carmen Nesnick, told NBC Los Angeles. “No matter if he was sad or mad, he would always try to cheer up everybody.”
Officials have yet to release the names of the victims, with Sheriff Hanlin saying investigators are "still trying to confirm a great amount of information floating around." He said the identities may be released on Friday or Saturday.