Friday 23 March 2018

Mass killer gave manifesto to the 'lucky one' he spared

Killer: Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer
Killer: Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer

Tami Abdollah

The gunman who opened fire in an Oregon college killed some of his victims after telling them to crawl across the classroom floor and shot one after saying he would spare her if she begged for her life.

However, Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer did spare a student and gave the "lucky one" something to deliver to authorities, according to a student who witnessed last Thursday's rampage.

One police source said a manifesto of several pages had been recovered. Bonnie Schaan, the mother of 16-year-old Cheyeanne Fitzgerald, said she was told by her daughter that the gunman gave someone an envelope and told him to go to a corner of the classroom.

Harper-Mercer said the person "was going to be the lucky one", Ms Schaan said at a hospital where her daughter's kidney was removed after she was shot.

Relatives of other survivors of the shooting that killed nine also said Harper-Mercer gave something to a student in the class.

Pastor Randy Scroggins, whose 18-year-old daughter Lacey escaped without physical injuries, said she told him that the gunman called to a student, saying: "Don't worry, you're the one who is going to survive."

Harper-Mercer then told the student that inside the shooter's backpack was "all the information that you'll need, give it to the police", Mr Scroggins said.

Mr Scroggins also said his daughter heard the gunman tell one victim he would spare that person's life if the student begged, then shot the begging victim anyway.

Lacey Scroggins also spoke about students being ordered to crawl to the middle of the room before being shot. Mr Scroggins said his daughter survived because she was lying on the floor and partially covered by the body and blood of a fellow student. The gunman thought Lacey Scroggins was dead as well, stepped over her and shot someone else.

Janet Willis said her granddaughter, Anastasia Boylan, was wounded in the attack and pretended to be dead as Harper-Mercer kept firing, killing eight students and a teacher.

Ms Willis said she visited her 18-year-old granddaughter in a hospital in Eugene, where the sobbing Boylan told her: "Grandma, he killed my teacher!"

Ms Boylan also said the shooter told one student in the writing class to stand in a corner, handed him a package and told him to deliver it to authorities.

Boylan also recalled how the gunman asked students about their faith.

"If they said they were Christian, he shot them in the head," Ms Willis said.

Harper-Mercer's social media profiles suggested he was fascinated by the IRA and frustrated by traditional organised religion.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News