Report: Oregon Shooter Had White Supremacist Leanings

The 26-year-old gunman who massacred at least nine people Thursday at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College reportedly had white supremacist leanings.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday, based on information from an anonymous federal law enforcement source familiar with the investigation, that the shooter was obsessed with guns and religion and had white supremacist leanings.

Douglas County, Oregon Sheriff John Hanlin said Thursday that he would not glorify the gunman by releasing his name and urged the media to follow his example. But the Times and other news outlets, including The Associated Press, have identified the gunman as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer based on information from anonymous federal law enforcement sources and government officials.

The gunman also reportedly used an email address that invoked a symbol with connections to neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups. The Guardian found via a public records search that the email address “ironcross45@gmail.com” was associated with a Chris Harper Mercer of Winchester, Oregon. The Anti-Defamation League notes that those groups adopted the Iron Cross, a German military medal, as a hate symbol by superimposing a swastika on the traditional medal.

The username on an online dating profile that appears to belong to the gunman is also “ironcross45.” Notably, that user lists his ethnicity as “mixed race.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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