[Ed. – This updates the earlier report that he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement.]
Christopher Harper-Mercer killed himself after he fatally shot nine people and wounded nine others in his attack at Umpqua Community College, among the deadliest mass school shootings in two decades, officials said Saturday.
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said the medical examiner ruled that Harper-Mercer’s death was a suicide. Officials had earlier said the gunman died during an exchange of gunfire with responding officers.
Authorities also recovered an additional weapon during the search of Harper-Mercer’s home, bringing to 14 the number of guns found, Hanlin said. Officials said six guns were found at the school and the rest at his home.
The announcement comes as investigators continue combing through a trove of information in an effort to understand the shooter’s background and determine his motive.
They are conducting hundreds of interviews with witnesses and those who knew Harper-Mercer, described by law enforcement sources as a hate-filled person who had long struggled with mental health issues.