Speed Reads

Umpqua Community College shooting

Oregon shooter reportedly singled out Christians in attack

Chris Harper Mercer, 26, who allegedly opened fire Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, killing nine, is believed to have singled out Christians during his rampage, The Washington Post reports. Mercer was later killed in a shootout with law enforcement, officials say.

Anastasia Boylan, a victim who is being treated for spinal injuries, described Mercer entering her classroom and shooting the professor, saying, "I've been waiting to do this for years." He then asked students who were Christian to stand up and told them "You're going to see God" before shooting them, she said.

The sister of another witness, J.J. Vicari, had a similar story, telling NBC that, "Vicari said at one point the shooter told people to stand up before asking whether they were Christian or not. [Vicari said] that anyone who responded 'yes' was shot in the head. If they said 'other' or didn't answer, they were shot elsewhere in the body, usually the leg."

Some sources say Mercer posted a warning of his attack on the messageboard 4chan, writing, "Don't go to school tomorrow if you're in the northwest." Previously of Torrance, California, Mercer enjoyed target practice and tended to act "anxious and nervous," former neighbors said. Public records appear to indicate Mercer moved to Oregon with his mother a few years ago, The Washington Post reports.

Thursday's attack was the 294th mass shooting in the United States this year.