In the aftermath of the shooting at a Safeway grocery store in Bend, Oregon on Sunday, acquaintances of the now-deceased gunman recall him as a loner with an aggressive disposition who frequently fought with others at his high school.
Police now say they are investigating the writings of 20-year-old Ethan Miller for clues as to his motivation for carrying out the attack, and there appears to be a number of postings to various social media platforms indicating a highly disturbed individual who specifically planned to target his alma mater of Mountain View High School where he graduated in 2020, the Daily Mail reported.
In several posts, Miller complained about his inability to cope with the fear and isolation brought on by the government’s response to the COVID pandemic and that he had developed a sincere hatred for himself. Though he said he had plans to attack his old high school soon, he decided he couldn’t wait and instead launched his rampage at the Safeway store which was close to his apartment and where he once worked for a short time.
Police Chief Mike Krantz said a search warrant was issued for the gunman’s digital devices, but combing through them for clues – which perhaps should have been considered before the deadly shooting – will take several days.
“A lot of people sent us follow-up information about what has been posted on social media or other outlets and our investigators will sift through that information and make those connections – if it´s truly connected- and ensure that we have accurate information,” he said.
Classmate Isaac Thomas remembered Miller as a very combative person with very few friends, if any. In fact, Thomas himself was reportedly suspended as a freshman after fighting with the shooter. He said Miller continued to hold a grudge over the incident and once threatened to shoot him.
“At one point he said he was going to shoot me and I was like, `Get over yourself´ because I didn´t think he had a gun, but I guess I was wrong,'” Thomas told the Associated Press.
Seems like everyone was.
I’ve spoken to 3 of Ethan Miller’s former classmates at Mountainview High School in Bend.
They’ve uniformly described him as violent, aggressive, and “the person from our class most likely to be a school shooter.”
Doesn’t seem to be a case with no prior chance to intervene. pic.twitter.com/9xRLGSzC6c
— Ryan Haas (@ryanjhaas) August 29, 2022
Thomas recalled running into Miller when the latter was employed at the Safeway and said that although years had gone by, Miller threatened him again. Recalling his time at Mountain View High School, Thomas said Miller “tried to fight quite literally everybody.”
The sociopath reportedly published a lengthy online diatribe just hours before carrying out the shooting in which he described himself as a loner who would never find love with a woman. His Wattpad page contained pictures of the various guns and ammunition he possessed and he revealed he took inspiration from the Columbine shooting of 1999.
In his online diary, Miller described himself as a “Quiet Kid with Anger Issues,” and added, “I’ve always been dangerous though.” He wrote of his alma mater that he had “No good memories about that school or the staff within it.”
Miller went on to describe in detail his intentions and the equipment he would use in the planned massacre at his high school. Authorities claimed they “had no evidence of previous threats or prior knowledge of the shooter” and the killer had no criminal record on which they could ascertain a threat.
He listed September 8, 2022 as “Doomsday” and lamented what he said was a lack of freedom in America created by politicians.
Another past student named Akela Haverlandt told the Oregonian, “He was always the talk of the week for getting into trouble. Basically what I remember of him is he was super violent. He would always get suspended.”
One of his first entries in his online diary reportedly read, “If you’re reading this then I’m definitely DEAD and have just committed a ‘NATIONAL TRAGEDY'”
He spoke of his fantasy woman, saying, “I just wanna be at Peace with HER. My soulmate. She doesn’t exist here I have to cross over to the other side to finally meet her,” and in his final entry, he referred to himself in third person.
“The Man has found Peace. He is ready to move on to His New Life. With Her…” the psychopath wrote.
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