Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Friday, 2 October 2015

Mass Shooting In Oregon - Shooter Wrote Plans On 4Chan Thread

Mass Shooting In Oregon - Shooter Wrote Plans On 4Chan Thread

The Debrief: Police are investigating a suspicious, and disturbing, thread posted to the internet community 4chan

Yesterday, over in Oregon, a 26-year-old, UK-born man opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseberg, killing 10 people. President Obama has made a statement detailing how ‘our thoughts and prayers are not enough’. It’s the 41st school shooting this year, and the figure has nearly hit 150 since 2012. 

Seven people in total have been wounded, and the gunman was shot and killed by police after a prolonged gunfight, owing to his heavy artillery and protective clothing.

Identified as Chris Harper-Mercer, the gunman reportedly came into a classroom while firing, shooting the teacher point blank, before asking students to stand up if they were Christian. ‘And they would stand up and he said, “Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second,”’ the father of a wounded student told CNN. ‘And then he shot and killed them.’

Starting in one building, he then moved to the science building, targeting Christians as he went. ‘We arrived to find multiple patients in multiple classrooms. Law enforcement was on scene and had the shooter neutralised,’ Douglas County Fire Marshal Ray Shoufler told CNN. 

Police are investigating a link between a suspicious thread on 4chan, an internet community renowned for its anonymity and, therefore, its often controversial subject matter. The thread, archived here, features an anonymous user warning everyone, ‘Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest’ and ‘Will post again in am, 10 min countdown. Won’t say more to much to prepare [sic]’.

Sickeningly, the response from other users was encouragement – one tells him to ‘DO IT’. Another makes suggestions as to how to go about it: ‘I suggest you enter a classroom and tell people that you will take them as hostages.’ 

Once it becomes apparent that a shooting actually did take place, the thread becomes even more disturbing: ‘He did it!’ is the general consensus, followed by ‘hi journalists’ and ‘That score, ouch. Not even double digits on current reports’.

If this wasn’t a coincidence, and the anonymous poster is in fact Chris Harper-Mercer, this will be the latest in a string of controversies surrounding 4chan.  

In a statement, President Obama condemned gun laws, and spoke about how numb the American people are becoming to school shootings: ‘And what’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation.

‘Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out. “We need more guns,” they’ll argue. “Fewer gun-safety laws.” Does anybody really believe that?’

He continued: ‘Each time this happens, I’m going to bring this up. Each time this happens, I’m going to say that we can actually do something about it.’ 

Thoughts and prayers may not be enough, but ours remain with the families and loved ones of those affected by the shooting. 


Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM