Ian Harper, father of Chris Harper Mercer, briefly stepped outside his Tarzana home Thursday night and said he had spent the day speaking with police and other authorities.
Harper said he couldn’t answer any questions about his son or the shooting.
“Shocked is all I can say,” he told reporters. “It’s been a devastating day.”
By Thursday afternoon, police had blocked off Chris Harper Mercer’s apartment complex in nearby Winchester.
Neighbor Bronte Hart told the Associated Press that he would “sit by himself in the dark in the balcony with this little light.”
She said Mercer’s mother could be seen “crying her eyes out” Thursday.
Mercer’s L.A.-area neighbor Derrick McClendon, 42, similarly described a “bashful” and “timid” man who kept to himself.
“I wouldn’t have suspected for him to be a troubled person,” McClendon said.
— Mike Benner (@MikeBennerKGW) October 2, 2015
Mercer liked target shooting, L.A.-area neighbors say
Chris Harper Mercer and his mother were familiar faces in the tight-knit Torrance apartment complex where they lived for several years before moving to Oregon a year or two ago, a neighbor said.
Former neighbors described them as quiet people who kept to themselves and rarely socialized with each other. Mercer was often seen riding a red beach cruiser bike and wearing military-style, green pants with black boots.
Several said they sometimes noticed the mother and son carrying black cases that appeared to hold firearms.
David Westly, 45, said some neighbors asked him about the weapons at a community BBQ. Westly said Mercer didn’t respond to that question but said he enjoyed going target shooting.
Westly and others on Arlington Avenue expressed shock that Mercer, 26, has been identified by law enforcement sources as the gunman who went on the rampage.
“It’s hard to believe,” he said.
“I wouldn’t have suspected for him to be a troubled person,” said neighbor Derrick McClendon, 42. “I’m surprised and shocked. I really am.”
In Tarzana, where his father, Ian Harper, lives with his wife and stepdaughter, neighbors said they only saw him visit a few times. Mercer’s father came home around 9:15 Thursday night and quickly stepped inside without saying a word. Three police officers stood across the street,