Gunman killed on campus, 5 dead
Five people are dead after what police are calling a “shooting rampage” occurred today in Santa Monica. The suspect was shot and injured by police in the library of Santa Monica College, which he ran into after opening fire on Pearl Street. Police brought his body to the sidewalk, where he died.
He is believed to have acted alone, although police did arrest Michael Lim, an SMC student, as a person of interest who was later released.
Earlier, the suspect was said to have set fire to a house in the 2000 block of Yorkshire Avenue that allegedly held his father and brother.
The suspect then made his way over to Cloverfield and Pico, where he shot at a bus, injuring a passenger when the bullet grazed her head.
“He was just shooting at anybody,” said witness Joe Orcutt who came face-to-face with the shooter at SMC, having seen him shoot a driver on Pearl Street. “One bullet at a time, like target practice."
The gunman kept moving, running into the library from Pearl Street. Students in and around the library heard multiple gunshots, presumably the confrontation between the suspect and police.
Some students were evacuated out of the library crawling on hands and knees.
“There was blood everywhere,” said student Audra Bell, who was studying in the library at the time. “There was blood from the entry all the way down the steps and there was a body on the left.”
Police did a campus sweep in search of a potential second suspect and to evacuate each classroom when it was safe.
College officials say the incident is not classified as a school shooting. The shooter was “attempting to evade officers by running onto the campus,” said SMC's President and Superintendent Chui L. Tsang in an official statement.
SMC’s main campus will be closed for the weekend due to pending investigations and will reopen on Monday.
Rona Novales and Merissa Weiland contributed to this article.