Father of Umpqua Community College shooter: 'I had no idea he ha - KPTV - FOX 12

Father of Umpqua Community College shooter: 'I had no idea he had any guns'

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ROSEBURG, OR (KPTV) -

The father of the man who shot and killed nine people and then himself at Umpqua Community College said he had no idea his son had any guns, let alone 14 of them.

"I had no idea that he had any guns whatsoever," Ian Mercer told CNN in an interview outside his California home on Saturday.

Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, was identified as the shooter who carried out a deadly mass shooting at the school near Roseburg on Thursday. The victims ranged in age from 18 to 67.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who has refused to identify Harper-Mercer by name, said the medical examiner concluded the shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound shortly after officers arrived at the college Thursday morning.

Ian Mercer said he had a "harmonious relationship" with his son.

"It has been, as I've said before, devastating on me and my family. But we're not alone in this. My heart goes out to all the other families that were affected by this, and I know words will not bring your families back, and I know nothing I can say can change what happened," Ian Mercer said. "But please believe me, my thoughts are with all of those families. And I hope they can get through this."

Investigators said eight guns were found at Chris Harper-Mercer's home near the college, while five pistols and a rifle, along with body armor an extra ammunition, were recovered at the scene of the shooting.

Ian Mercer said he has never held a gun in his life and questioned how easy it is to get guns if his son had such a stockpile of them.

Federal investigators said the weapons were purchased legally.

"I'm not going to say that's to blame for what happened, but if Chris had not been able to get hold of 13 guns, this wouldn't have happened," he told CNN.

Investigators originally said Chris Harper-Mercer had 13 guns, but later found another one at his home, bringing the total to 14.

Ian Mercer declined to specifically address his son's mental state, saying he wanted to let police determine the facts of the investigation.

However, he added, "Obviously, somebody who goes and kills nine people has to have some kind of issue."

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report. 

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