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Army says college shooter failed basic training

Army says college shooter failed basic training
Army says college shooter failed basic training
Posted at 2:29 PM, Oct 02, 2015

ROSEBURG, Ore.  -- The U.S. Army says the gunman who killed nine people at an Oregon community college flunked out of basic training in 2008.

Lt. Col. Ben Garrett, an Army spokesman, said Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer was in service at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, starting on Nov. 5, 2008. But by Dec. 11, 2008, he was discharged for failing to meet the minimum administrative standards.

Garrett did not say which standards Harper-Mercer failed to meet. Generally, the Army requires recruits to pass physical fitness tests and to be generally in good physical and mental health. Recruits also must score highly enough on a multiple-choice test covering science, math, reading comprehension and other topics.

A federal agency says investigators have recovered six weapons at an Oregon community college and seven at the apartment of the gunman who killed nine people.

ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Celinez Nunez said at a news conference Friday that all of the weapons were purchased legally, seven of them by the shooter or his family members in the last three years. She says investigators also found a flak jacket next to a rifle at the school, which contained steel plates.

The guns included a 9mm Glock pistol and .40-caliber Smith & Wesson, both traced to the suspect.

He also had a .40-caliber Taurus pistol traced to someone in Portland and a .556-caliber Del-Ton.

He isn't believed to have a criminal history. Investigators believe he may have been a student there because a receipt found at the scene showed he purchased textbooks from the campus bookstore two days before the shooting.

Social media profiles linked to the 26-year-old shooter suggested he was fascinated by the IRA, frustrated by traditional organized religion and tracked other mass shootings.

There didn't seem to be many recent connections on the social media sites linked to Chris Harper-Mercer, with his MySpace page just showing two friends. He appeared to have at least one online dating profile.

On a torrents streaming site and blog that appeared to belong to Mercer, posts referenced multiple shootings and downloads included several horror films and a documentary on a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

A blog post urged readers to watch the online footage of Vester Flanagan shooting two former colleagues on live TV in Virginia, while another lamented materialism as preventing spiritual development.

 A MySpace page that appeared to belong to Mercer included several photos and graphics of the Irish Republican Army as well as a picture of Mercer holding a rifle.

A doctor says one victim of the deadly mass shooting at an Oregon community college will likely be released from a hospital Friday.

Dr. Jason Gray of Mercy Medical Center says the hospital in Roseburg, which is 180 miles south of Portland, received 10 patients Thursday -- one died, two were quickly treated and released and three were transferred to a hospital near Eugene for a higher level of care.

Of the four remaining patients, one was discharged late Thursday, and one was expected to leave Friday. Gray says the other two are expected to survive, but one remains in critical condition.

The three patients who needed additional care were transferred to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. The Eugene-area hospital says in a news release that two of them are in critical condition and one is in serious condition.