A Century 21 branch sign offers support to the families of the Umpqua Community College shooting victims in Roseburg, Oregon, United States. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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The 26-year-old gunman who opened fire in a community college English class, killing nine, was an Army boot camp dropout who studied mass shooters before becoming one himself.A day after the rampage in an Oregon timber town, authorities said Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, who died during a shootout with police, wore a flak jacket and brought at least six guns and five ammunition magazines to the school. Investigators found another seven guns at the apartment he shared with his mother.At a different apartment complex where Harper-Mercer and his mother lived in Southern California, neighbors remembered a quiet and odd young man who rode a red bike everywhere.Reina Webb, 19, said the man's mother was friendly and often chatted with neighbors, but Harper-Mercer kept to himself. An aunt of an Army veteran hit by several bullets said he tried to stop the gunman from entering the classroom.Chatman said several hundred investigators are involved, ranging from federal agencies such as the FBI and ATF to state, county and city law enforcement.Several years ago, Harper-Mercer moved to Winchester, Oregon, from Torrance, California, with his mother, a nurse named Laurel Harper. The Army said Harper-Mercer flunked out of basic training in 2008 .Garrett did not say which standards Harper-Mercer failed.
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