At a barbecue shortly before they left, Mr. Harper-Mercer spent hours talking with a next-door neighbor about guns and how he and his mother were excited to leave Los Angeles and get a fresh start.
(AP Photo/John Locher). Vincent Attanasio holds up a sign while performing with the Roseburg High School band Saturday, October 3, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore.
The gunman, Christopher Harper-Mercer, executed nine people inside a classroom last Thursday and wounded nine others.
While living in California, Harper-Mercer graduated from a learning center for students with learning disabilities and emotional problems.
The grandmother, Janet Willis, said her granddaughter Anastasia Boylan was wounded in the Thursday attack and pretended to be dead as Harper-Mercer kept firing, killing eight students and a teacher.
Mercer said this past Saturday that their son had to have “some kind of issue” with his mental health, while expressing disbelief at authorities’ statement that he was able to acquire 13 guns before mounting his attack.
“Harper-Mercer said the person “‘was going to be the lucky one, ‘” Schaan told reporters outside a hospital where her daughter’s kidney was removed after she was shot.
Sitting in the congregation alongside Lacey Scroggins was 18-year-old Mathew Downing, who also survived Thursday’s shootings.
Scroggins told those gathered at his church that his daughter only survived because she was lying on the floor and partially covered by the body and blood of a fellow student.
The Medical Examiner’s report said he took his own life and Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin told ABC News he believes the police could have shot him and then he killed himself. The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Witnesses said the 59-year-old, a former park ranger, was killed when she poked her head around the classroom door upon hearing the shooting.
“The God who was good for us yesterday is still the God who is good today, even if we do not understand what happened”, Scroggins told the church.
“But nothing could prepare us for the evil coming to Roseburg”, he said. “I needed to come and see my friends, make sure they’re OK”.
“And then at that time, she said, ‘I heard the shooter over me say, “Get up”.
“I’m going through the grieving process myself because this has touched everyone in the community”, chaplain Russell Wilson said.
Federal investigators recovered six weapons at the college and seven at Mercer’s nearby apartment.
Over the past several years, Harper-Mercer’s mother reportedly posted on websites about the difficulties of having a son with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.
In an online forum, Yahoo Answers, the Times said, Harper complained about “lame states” that limit the keeping of loaded firearms in homes, saying that she had AR-15 and AK-47 semiautomatic rifles, along with a Glock handgun.