Oregon shooter was booted out of U.S. Army in 2008

Oregon college gunman Chris Harper-Mercer was discharged from basic training at Fort Jackson, SC in 2008. Photo Credit: Myspace

While the Sheriff’s department that took him down has pleaded with the media not to repeat his name or glorify him in any way – new details about the gunman in Oregon continue to trickle in from family members, neighbors and acquaintances.

It appears, based on social media posts, that the Oregon shooter admired recent gunmen who shot down innocent victims and used the power of the internet to document the execution of their sick plans.

Now, we are learning from family members that the shooter in the Oregon massacre served a brief time in the military.

A news release from the Pentagon confirms that information.

“A review of Army records indicate that Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer was in service at Ft. Jackson, S.C., from 5 November-11 December 2008 but discharged for failing to meet the minimum administrative standards to serve in the U.S. Army,” the statement said.

An official with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives said today: “Investigators found 13 weapons connected to the gunman who killed nine people at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College. She said all weapons were “legally obtained” through a federal firearms dealer during the last three years, “by the shooter or family members.”

Six weapons were found at the college, where the shooter died yesterday after a gun battle with police. Seven weapons were found at his residence, according to a CNN report.

The father of one of the victims told CNN that his daughter said the shooter delivered “a box” to someone during the shooting and told them: “You gotta deliver this.”

She also said that the gunman singled out Christians. According to multiple media reports, the shooter told victims that identified themselves as Christian: “Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second.”

Investigators reportedly talked to the gunman’s family and neighbors all night Thursday, to try to determine a possible motive. “Obviously it’s been a devastating day,” Mercer’s father told reporters outside his Tarzana, California home.

Bronte Hart, who lives in the building where Mercer lived, said the man would “sit by himself in the dark in the balcony with this little light.”

Another neighbor, Steven Fisher, described him as “skittish.” Fisher added, “His demeanor, the way he moved, always looking around….I got a bad vibe from him.”

It’s still unclear if Mercer was a student at Umpqua Community College. The interim president of the school, said Mercer was not believed to be a current student, but some students said they took courses with him, according to the CNN report.

“He was a little odd, like sensitive to things,” said Rebecca Miles, who took a theater class with Mercer.


  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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