Yesterday a lone gunman opened fire at the Umpqua Community College in the US Pacific Northwest state of Oregon. Reports have confirmed that at least 10 people are dead and seven are injured. Police have also confirmed that the gunman is dead.
We do not usually cover this type of story – this is a tech blog, after all – so we will not be giving the confirmed name of the shooter or go into any of the details around the incident itself. The reason we are writing about it today is the fact that the shooter may have posted his intentions to internet image board 4Chan before beginning his killing spree, thus placing it in the realm of “internet culture” which we do cover.
4Chan is notorious for similar posts in which users discuss committing crimes and, although unconfirmed at this point, the time and accuracy of the post heavily implies that the original creator and the gunman are the same person.
The original post reads:
Some of you guys are alright. Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.
happening thread will be posted tomorrow morning
so long space robots
“Space robots”, or rather “robot” is a nickname given to users of 4Chan who post in the /r9k/ section of the site.
Following this, others users began offering advice and encouragement on how to successfully pull off the crime, or at least cause as much damage as possible before being stopped:
I suggest you enter a classroom and tell people that you will take them as hostages. Make everyone get in one corner and then open fire.
Make sure that there is no way that someone can disarm you as it is possible. I suggest you carry a knife on your belt as last resort if someone is holding your gun.
They even went in-depth concerning where to go and which weapons to use:
You might want to target a girls school which is safer because there are no beta males throwing themselves for their rescue.
Do not use a shotgun. I would suggest a powerful assault rifle and a pistol or 2x pistols. Possibly the type of pistols who have 15+ ammo
“Beta males” are what many users call males who are more submissive and lowly when compared to the “Alphas”. Many of the posters on /r9k/ and the rest of the site also refer to themselves as Betas when discussing their social ineptitude and lack of success with women, but The Guardian (and several other sources) cite that the attack may have been focused on religion.
Since the end of the incident, the thread is under federal investigation. Despite 4Chan’s focus on anonymity, those involved may find themselves arrested for inciting violence, or other charges.
Below is an image created from a cached version of the webpage. Because of the ongoing investigation some similar images have been taken down off of image hosting site Imgur, and we may also be asked to remove ours at a later stage.
Please note that the image contains explicit language as well as very sensitive subject matter, and may be an upsetting read.
Thanks to several users on community site Reddit for pointing us in the direction of this story.