Students, staff return to Oregon college where gunman killed 9

The gunman in the Umpqua Community College massacre was identified Thursday evening as Chris Harper Mercer, 26, according to three law enforcement sources briefed on the case. (ABC News/MySpace)

Some faculty, staff and students returned to campus Monday for the first time since a mass shooting last week, while President Barack Obama announced he will travel to Oregon to visit privately with victims' families.

Classes do not resume at Umpqua Community College until next week, but some students came to the campus to pick up belongings they left behind Thursday when they fled. Others met with professional groups to discuss their trauma and grief.

A memorial was growing on the driveway leading to Snyder Hall, where Harper-Mercer opened fire. Besides those who died, nine people were wounded. Harper-Mercer killed himself after a shootout with police.

The gunman who killed nine people at an Oregon community college said in writings he left behind that everyone else was "crazy" and ranted about not having a girlfriend, a law enforcement official said Monday.

The official also said the mother of 26-year-old gunman Christopher Harper-Mercer has told investigators he was struggling with some mental health issues. The official is familiar with the investigation but wasn't authorized to speak publicly because it is ongoing.

Harper-Mercer complained in writings about not having a girlfriend, and he seemed to feel like he was very rational while others around him were not, the official said.

He wrote something to the effect of: "Other people think I'm crazy, but I'm not. I'm the sane one," the official said. The writings were a couple of pages long.

On Monday, a group of eight held hands and bowed their heads in prayer in front of the building. Elsewhere, clusters of people chatted at picnic tables or near buildings.

"It was hard not to focus on Snyder Hall," student Joel Mitchell said. "When we got back, I think a lot of people were probably ... looking at it, checking it out, seeing what it looked like."

In a courtyard near the center of campus, a therapy dog sat on a blanket with its handler. A woman, crouched down, wiped away a tear.

"I needed to be here," student Madysen Sanchez said. "I needed to come and see my friends, make sure they're OK."

At least one student injured in the shooting was among those who returned Monday, college President Rita Cavin said. She did not identify the student.

Meanwhile, Obama said he will visit Roseburg on Friday as he opens a four-day trip to the West Coast. No additional details about his visit were immediately available.

Related Topics:
school shootingoregon college shootinggun violencemental healthnationalu.s. & worldOregon
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