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The Latest Mass Shooter Was Apparently an Anti-Religious Zealot Who Sought Companionship Online

The man who killed nine people at a community college in Oregon fit the twisted profile of recent mass shooters in America.
October 2, 2015, 4:10pm

Photo via Flickr user Mika Järvinen

On Thursday afternoon, a 26-year-old with a shaved head and blocky glasses packed six guns and plenty of ammunition and headed to Umpqua Community College in Oregon. From there, he walked into a humanities building, and then into a public speaking class, where he reportedly asked students to stand and state their religions.

"Good, because you're a Christian, you're going to see God in just about one second,'" he said, the father of a victim who survived told CNN.


Nine people were killed, and several more injured. The shooter, who was wearing body armor and is not being named in this story, later died in a confrontation with police—and fits the twisted profile of many recent mass shooters in America.

Read: Why the Media Shouldn't Name Mass Shooters Over and Over Again

Before he entered that classroom, the alleged killer didn't talk much. To his neighbors, he was just a quiet loner who wore the same military-style outfit every day and couldn't muster much more than an anxious "hi." In fact, the only person he was ever seen with was his protective mother, according to the New York Times.

If the man was looking for companionship, he did it online, specifically on a singles website for people who identify as "Not Religious, But Spiritual." The username of an connected to his email address on that site referenced Nazi Germany, and his profile alluded to a reverence to Satanism. The user also claimed that he enjoyed "killing zombies" and "didn't like organized religion."

On MySpace, the alleged shooter, who was reportedly born in England, expressed admiration for the Irish Republican Army and posed with a gun. Right now, there's speculation as to whether or not he warned about the attack on 4Chan. "Some of you guys are alright," a user posted on October 1. "Don't go to school tomorrow if you are in the Pacific Northwest."

And, according to the Times, the shooter apparently authored a blog containing a post that glorified the former TV anchor who shot an anchorwoman and a camera man on August 26. "On an interesting note, I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when the spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are," the killer allegedly wrote . "A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone."

Although the latest mass shooter's name is now making headlines across the country, local law enforcement in Oregon said in the immediate aftermath that they wanted to deny him infamy.

"I will not name the shooter," Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said in a press conference Thursday evening. "I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act."

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