Chris Harper Mercer Told Torrance Neighbors He Liked to Practice Target Shooting

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Neighbors at a sprawling apartment complex in Torrance said they thought it was odd when a few years ago they saw Chris Harper Mercer and his mother carrying black cases that the neighbors suspected held firearms.

Sources have identified the gunman as Chris Harper Mercer. He is seen in a photo posted to one of his social media accounts.
Sources have identified the gunman as Chris Harper Mercer. He is seen in a photo posted to one of his social media accounts.

At a community barbecue, some asked Mercer whether he owned guns. Mercer deflected the question but acknowledged that he liked to practice target shooting, said David Westly, 45.

Neighbors at the Arlington Avenue complex were left to wonder Thursday whether that memory is one piece of a larger puzzle after Mercer, 26, was identified by law enforcement sources as the gunman who went on a rampage at an Oregon community college that left 10 dead, including Mercer.

“It’s hard to believe,” Westly said.

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