*UPDATE* 11:30pm EST
Police have identified the gunman who killed 10 people at an Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Thursday as 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer, according to The Daily Beast. Therefore, it appears to be the 4chan post was from another person threatening a mass shooting.
A MySpace account belonging to Christopher Harper-Mercer is registered to Torrance, California. Harper-Mercer and his mother previously lived in Torrance before moving to an apartment in Winchester, Oregon.
An online dating profile, linked to Harper-Mercer’s e-mail address and featuring another photo of him, says the 26-year-old, who demanded to know victims’ religions before killing them, was living with his parents and searching for the “yin to my yang.” It identifies his views as “conservative, republican,” and lists “organized religion” as one of his “dislikes.”
In a blog linked to that identity, Harper-Mercer expressed admiration for Roanoke shooter Vester Flanagan.
People “like him have nothing left to live for,” Harper-Mercer wrote on August 31. “On an interesting note, 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. “
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said Thursday night that although police have confirmed the identity of the gunman, he refused to say the man’s name aloud because he didn’t want to give the gunman the attention he probably craved.
“Let me be very clear: I will not name the shooter. I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act,” Hanlin said. “You will never hear me mention his name.”
Original story below
There’s no proof of a connection to the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, but an anonymous user posted a chilling threat on the popular message board 4chan Wednesday night which read, “Some of you guys are alright. Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.”
The anonymous user, which the 4chan forum says his name is Toby Reynolds, added “happening thread will be posted tomorrow morning…so long space robots.”
He later wrote, “Will post again in am, 10 min countdown. Won’t say more to much to prepare (sic).”
Under the disturbing message, many users egged the person on to go ahead with their threat and even advised the poster on the best ways to kill people.
The alleged post is no longer visible on the website. The cached version was first posted on Reddit.
One user wrote, “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 anonymous user also advised the alleged shooter to “make sure that there is no way that someone can disarm you” and suggested that he should “carry a knife on your belt as last resort if someone is holding your gun.”
Here are some more twisted responses to the foreshadowing post:
One user posted to the thread with a less supportive message for the original poster: “Hey OP. Please stop being a f*ggot. I’m asking you nicely. Also, if you are going to do something please don’t use any guns. It makes it harder for us gun owners who aren’t complete f*cking f*ggots.”
The original poster also typed up another message addressed to “fellow robots” and wishes readers “an enjoyable Elliot Rodger day,” referencing the man who killed six people near the Santa Barbara University campus last year.
“Personally I will mark this day’s celebration of our Hero’s deeds by announcing that I have an elaborate plan…Needless to say; it shall be glorious. The horrible kind of normies will pay for their misdeeds, and the world will be bettered.”
The unidentified 20-year-old male shooter died during an exchange of gunfire with police. The shooting started at 10:38am when the shooter fired through a window in Snyder Hall, an academic building, and shot a writing teacher in the head, student Kortney Moore told NRToday.
Once inside, the shooter told everyone to get on the ground, then asked everyone to stand up and state their religion, and began firing.
Oregon State Police later said at least 13 people had died, but a final number of fatalities has still not been confirmed, according to NY Daily News.
Four guns, believed to belong to the gunman, were recovered from the scene, a law enforcement official told CNN.
“The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian. If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs.
In 2013, before 18-year-old student Neil Allan Macinnis shot dead two women at a Virginia college, he posted on 4chan asking users to “wish him luck.”
Plenty of people have brought attention to the destructiveness of 4chan, with one calling it the “taint of the internet” and another calling it the “sewage system of the web.”
4chan was set by 15-year-old schoolboy, Christopher Poole, in his New York bedroom in 2003. He wanted to offer a forum for people to put whatever they wanted online with no rules and no fear of prosecution, the Daily Mail reports.
The original aim for 4chan — as a slightly risque forum for teenagers — soon turned into an internet cesspool as users exploited it to spread the most vile material. Pictures of dead people and car accidents are popular, as is extreme pornography and virulent racism.