Oregon gunman’s dad says he’s as shocked as anyone

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The father of a man who officials have identified as the shooter who opened fire at an Oregon community college says he's as shocked as anybody at the deaths of 10 people including his son.

Ian Mercer spoke to KABC-TV and several other media outlets gathered outside his house in Tarzana, California late Thursday night.

He said it's been a "devastating day" for him and his family and said he has been talking to police and the FBI about the shooting.

He refused to answer questions and asked that his family's privacy be respected.

Authorities say the gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College, killing nine before dying during an exchange of gunfire with officers.

A government official identified the killer as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. The official provided the name on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

18-year-old Anastasia Boylan was one of the students injured in the shooting. Her family says she was hit in the back by a bullet that traveled down her spine.

According to Boylan's mother, she played dead to survive.

Boylan's father says she described the shooting to him, "what she said is he shot the professor, point blank, right one shot killed him, took him right out of it, and others had been injured.  Then he, this man, had enough time I don't know how much time elapsed before he was able to stand there and start asking people one by one what their religion was. 'Are you a Christian?' He would ask them, 'and if you're a Christian, stand-up' 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' and then he shot and killed them."

The family of Chris Mintz, another survivor, says he heard the gunshots from another classroom. He then tried to block the gunman from entering the room that he was in. Mintz is 30-years-old. His family says he was shot multiple times while trying to block the door. Mintz then told the gunman it was his son's birthday that day, he was shot two more times after that. His family says both of his legs are broken. "His vital signs are OK. He's going to have to learn to walk again, but he walked away with his life and that's more than so many other people did," said Ariana Earnhardt, Mintz's cousin.

Investigators are looking into various blog posts that my have been linked to the gunman.

On Wednesday, an anonymous post was made to the web bulletin board, 4chan.  It read, “Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest. Happening thread will be posted tomorrow morning. So long space robots.” Someone commented saying, “I suggest you enter a classroom and tell people that you will take them as hostages. Make everyone get in one corner and then open fire."

The post has since been removed. It's not clear how serious the thread is, but the timing is questionable. The website is known for posts that joke about violence.

Other blog posts were discovered that were linked to an email address associated with the gunman.

Two of the posts discussed recent shootings. One was about an officer killed near Houston in August. The other was about the man who  killed two journalists in Virginia and was dated August 31st.

That post read, "I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill, the more you're in the limelight."

It went on to say, "anyone who knew him could have seen this coming. People like him have nothing left to live for, and the only thing left to do is lash out at a society that has abandoned them."

Those blog posts have also been removed.