As word of the massacre spread, intuition kicked in.
Laurel Harper scanned her son’s room searching for his collection of guns. She worried he might be the killer at Umpqua Community College, the man responsible for Oregon’s deadliest mass shooting, the person who murdered eight classmates and one teacher while injuring eight others.
Worry soon turned to certainty. Outside the apartment, through the dining room window, Harper saw a deputy unspooling crime-scene tape.
“And I already know the answer,” she recounted for detectives, just hours after the Oct. 1, 2015, shooting in Roseburg.
Hundreds of pages of law enforcement documents released Friday include the first and only comments from the woman responsible for raising the shooter, Christopher Harper-Mercer, a loner with a history of undisclosed mental health challenges who found humor in watching people die.