Oregon gunman planned to kill 'bunch' of people

Man who shot his father, camper left two notes behind

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PORTLAND — A gunman who fatally shot his father and then a man camping at an Oregon beach last week left behind notes that said he was mentally ill and planned to "kill a bunch of other people" and then himself.

Zachary Brimhall's first note says he had been mentally ill his entire life, and he had reached the point of deciding to kill himself or to kill others and then himself.

He wrote: "I chose the latter."

Brimhall, 32, drove to a beach where he shot five cars in a parking lot, killing a Michigan camper who was asleep. Later Tuesday, his father was found dead on a remote logging road in southwest Oregon. He had been shot at least eight times the night before.

The messages were contained in a notebook found in Brimhall's car, where authorities also discovered 10 firearms, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, firecrackers known as seal bombs and the makings for an improvised explosive device.

In the second note, the gunman says he is writing about three hours after the death of his father, Ray Brimhall.

"If I could go back in time, I would have driven off a cliff instead and tried to make it look like an accident to make it easier on my parents," he said. "I can't go back in time though. My life ended as soon as I fired the first round. This is not wanted. Unfortunately, there's no reason not to try and kill at least a few more people before I shoot myself."

The notes do not explain why the unemployed Brimhall wanted to kill his father or strangers. His mother, Patricia, told investigators she never saw anything to suggest he would want to kill his father.

But she said her son might have been depressed at times. She said Zachary Brimhall had never taken medication for depression or been under the care of a mental health professional.