A hate-filled note left at the scene of a tragic mass shooting in Roseburg, Ore., conveyed the innermost feelings of a conflicted young man who felt the world had "turned" on him. After the heartbreaking incident at Umpqua Community College, authorities on Friday reported that they had found a note left by 26-year-old Chris Mercer, in which he detailed his troubles with depression, dating, and loneliness. Mercer's angry rampage ended Thursday morning with the deaths of eight other students and one professor, evoking an emotional response nationwide.
CBS News reported on Friday that two officials familiar with the multi-page note in question had confirmed Mercer was, in his own words, "in a bad way." "[He] felt the world was against him," said one of the officers, in a comment to the news outlet. "[He said he would be] welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil ... he was depressed, sullen." Mercer, who was killed during Thursday's ensuing firefight with law enforcement, also complained that he had felt lonely and had never had a girlfriend. "He felt the world was against him," added another officer, in a statement to NBC News.
Neighbors in Torrance, Calif., where Mercer had previously lived with his mother, spoke to The New York Times this week, indicating that Mercer had seemed "withdrawn", and that he had worn the same Army-style outfit — combat boots and pants with a plain white tee-shirt — every day, although he had never specified why.
"He always seemed anxious," 51-year-old Rosario Lucumi told The Times on Friday. Lucumi often rode the same city bus as Mercer and told the paper that he usually wore headphones and listened to music on what Lucumi assumed were trips to and from El Camino College.
An old MySpace profile and dating site account registered under Mercer's email address showed that the young man had complained of his loneliness before. TIME Magazine reported Friday that both the email address and the username on Mercer's alleged dating profile, "IRONCROSS45", may have been a reference to a Nazi military symbol. The outlet reported that someone with the same username had also purchased Nazi memorabilia from an online site.
Officials familiar with Mercer's note on Friday added that the gunman had been depressed and angry, but declined to elaborate further.