A 26-year-old man who killed nine people in a shooting at a community college in Oregon was a former resident of Torrance, where he attended a school for students with learning disabilities and emotional issues, according to a published report.
Several news outlets identified the young man, who died in the incident, as Chris Harper Mercer.
“I’m just as shocked as anybody at what has happened (Thursday),” the Mercer’s father, Ian Harper, of Reseda, told KCAL9 on Thursday night.
A stepsister, Carmen Nesnick of Tarzana, told NBC4 Mercer was “a nice guy” and that his family is in shock.
Former neighbors in Torrance reported that the shooter was quiet and often wore camouflage pants and boots, according to NBC4.
The Daily Breeze reported that he graduated from Switzer Learning Center in Torrance in 2009. The newspaper cited records indicating that he lived with his mother in a ground-floor apartment in Torrance from 2011 to 2013.
An online search points to a MySpace account referencing Torrance and bearing a photo of a man with a shaved head, with what appears to be the barrel of a rifle visible alongside him.
Elsewhere on the account are images of masked gunmen and praise for the Irish Republican Army, the paramilitary group involved in years of violence in that country.
An online search using the terms “Chris Mercer Torrance” turns up a whitepages.com entry for Chris Harper-Mercer, showing a cellphone number with a 310 area code and a land line number with a 541 area code, which covers most of Oregon.
It also listed an address for an apartment in Winchester, Ore., which is about four miles north of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., where the shooting took place about 10:30 a.m.
The suspect was killed when police engaged him in a shootout Thursday, but it was unclear if he was fatally wounded by officers.
The shooting left seven other people wounded, three of them in critical condition, according to authorities.
— City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: