The father of the gunman who killed nine people at an Oregon community college before turning a gun on himself said the shooting “would not have happened” if his son would not have been able to amass so many weapons.
“The only thing I would like to say is a question that I would like to ask is how on earth could he compound 13 guns? How could that happen? They talk about gun laws, they talk about gun control but every time something like this happens they talk about it and nothing is done,” Ian Mercer told CNN. “I’m not trying to say that’s to blame for what happened but if Chris had not been able to get a hold of 13 guns, it wouldn’t have happened.” Ian Mercer also said he had no idea his son had any guns, let alone more than a dozen. Authorities recovered an additional weapon at the shooter’s home, bringing the total to 14.
Although Ian Mercer said he wouldn’t comment on any psychological issues his son was facing, he also noted that “obviously someone who goes and kills nine people has to have some kind of issue.”
Ian Mercer talked to CNN as authorities confirmed that 26-year-old Christopher Harper Mercer had killed himself following a shootout with police. More harrowing details of the shooting are also being released with the shooter apparently giving one student, who he dubbed the “lucky one,” something to deliver to authorities. One law enforcement official tells the Associated Press authorities have recovered a manifesto of several pages.
The mother of a student who survived said her son told her the shooter asked victims about their religion and whether they believed in God but not to specifically target Christians. “The shooter would call a person: ‘You, stand up,’” Stephanie Salas said, recalling her son’s version of events, according to the Oregonian. “And then he would ask them if they were a Christian, knew God, or had religion. And it wasn’t like it was stated on TV. It wasn’t about that he was just trying to pinpoint Christians, no.” The shooter asked about religion as a way of telling victims “you’re going to be meeting your maker,” Salas said.