A gunman who killed nine people at a college in Oregon in the US may have been an IRA supporter.
Twenty-six-year-old Chris Harper Mercer was shot dead by police after he opened fire at a community college yesterday, killing nine people.
The gunman's MySpace page contains references apparently in support of the IRA, as well as information on the Sandy Hook shooting massacre.
Some media outlets say he was born in England before moving to the US as a young boy. He reportedly lived with his mother in an apartment near the college, but was not a student there.
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said he would not release any information about the gunman, saying: "Let me be very clear. I will not name the shooter. I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act."
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses say the gunman asked people to state their religion before carrying out the attack.
His father, Ian Mercer told reporters outside his home in Tarzana in California: "I am just as shocked as everybody at what happened today…It's been a devastating day , devastating for me and my family."
He said he had been talking to the police and to the FBI, but had no additional information to what was already in the public domain.
Chris Harper Mercer's stepsister Carmen Nesnick also spoke to reporters outside her home, saying: "All he ever did was put everyone before himself. He wanted everyone to be happy...I don’t know what to do…My mom's inside crying…I'm actually still shaking."
President Barack Obama said at a press conference after the shootings: "We have become numb to this…It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun."