The Oregon community college shooter Chris Harper-Mercer wrote a note shortly before embarking on his shooting spree that where he killed more than 10 persons including himself. In this note, he discussed his isolation and loneliness.
The note has not been released publicly but, according to unnamed government sources who have spoken with multiple news outlets, it spanned multiple pages. The New York Times reported that it was found at the scene of the shooting and described a life with few connections to other people.
“He didn’t have a girlfriend, and he was upset about that,” an unnamed law enforcement official told the Times. “He comes across thinking of himself as a loser. He did not like his lot in life, and it seemed like nothing was going right for him.”
Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, is said to also wrote in the document that he would be “welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil,” NBC News reported.
According to an official who spoke with the network, Harper-Mercer appeared to have been depressed and “felt the world was against him.”
An official described the document as “rambling,” and said Harper-Mercer appeared to be involved in an online community called the “beta boys,” which reportedly glorifies killings, USA Today reported.
The “beta” mention may also reference a niche idea — widely discussed in some circles online — that says some men are dominant “alpha males” while others are merely “beta males.” The alpha-beta male idea made headlines last year after the manifesto of Isla Vista killer Elliot Rodger referenced it.
Investigators are still working to understand what motivated the shooting, which took place Thursday afternoon at Umpqua Community College. In addition to studying the note, officials are pouring through Harper-Mercer’s online writings, which includes profiles on pen pal websites and a blog post that discusses other shootings.