Mother-son bond over gun links Oregon and Connecticut mass shootings

 In this Oct. 2, 2015, file photo, Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Greg Kennerly, left, and Oregon State Trooper Tom Willis stand guard outside the apartment building where alleged Umpqua Community College gunman Chris Harper Mercer lived with his mother in Roseburg, Ore.

A Douglas County Sheriff Deputy, left, and Oregon State Trooper stand guard outside the apartment building where alleged Umpqua Community College gunman Chris Harper Mercer lived with his mother in Roseburg. (Photo: AP)

The gunman responsible for the shooting in Oregon that claimed the lives of nine people has a background that parallels the shooter responsible for the Sandy Hook massacre.

Like Adam Lanza, the gunman in Connecticut, Christopher Harper-Mercer suffered from mental illness, lived a mostly solitary life with a mother who shared his fascination with firearms, the Associated Press observes.

Both women were long-time gun enthusiasts, amassed weapons and took their sons to shooting ranges as a means to bond.

“When you begin to bring guns into the home environment where you have that dangerous cocktail of behavior, that’s pretty unbelievable,” said Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former FBI profiler who directs George Mason University’s forensic science program, to the AP.

[ Associated Press ]