Shooting rampage at UCSB takes 7, 13 wounded
On Friday night around 9:00 p.m., the Isla Vista community of Santa Barbara fell victim to the homicidal rampage of a shooter identified as Elliot Rodger, 22. The killing spree that stretched out to 10 locations began with the stabbing of three people in his home, and ended with the death of 6 students and 13 injured.
Police found Rodger had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being pulled out of his wrecked black BMW. Inside the car, police found three handguns, legally and locally purchased, and more than 400 rounds of unused ammunition.
Beginning his spree with the stabbing of his three roommates, Roger took to the streets with his planned shooting rampage.
To address his “War on Women,” Rodger intended to, “Punish all females for the crime of depriving [him] of sex,” and began his rampage at the University of California, Santa Barbara Alpha Phi sorority.
Though Rodger was unable to enter the sorority, members in the building witnessed him shoot three women walking nearby. Two of them, identified as 22-year-old Katherine Cooper and 19-year-old Veronika Weiss, members of the Tri Delta sorority, died from their injuries.
Rodger then drove into downtown Isla Vista and entered a delicatessen, shooting and killing 20-year-old Christopher Martinez.
Following the Embarcadero Street loop through downtown, Rodger fired at two people on the sidewalk from his vehicle and then moved on to Del Playa Drive.
He fired additional rounds at women walking down the street before hitting a bicyclist with his vehicle. Rodger continued his spree down neighboring streets, shooting at and hitting four other people.
It was at this point that police managed to come into contact with the racing BMW and returned fire at Rodger, where it was believed he sustained a gunshot wound to the hip.
A student at Santa Barbara City College, Rodger previously posted various videos promising a “Day of Retribution.” Since his rampage and discovery of his videos, police uncovered a disturbing manifesto entitled “My Twisted World," detailing his plans to exact revenge on women and humanity as a whole.
For Santa Monica College students, this shooting comes as a chilling reminder of the shooting that ravaged their campus just shy of a year ago. On June 7, 2013, five people were shot and killed by the gunman identified as 23-year-old John Zawahri.
Student Ana Melo was present in the library at the time of the shooting. She recalls hearing loud popping noises that sounded like one of the bookcases falling over. A friend she was studying with got up to see what was happening and told Melo that there was a man with a gun in the library.
She recalls racing with a huge crowd to the nearest emergency exist. Panic ensued when it was discovered that the door was locked.
Finding another exit, Melo was able to escape the scene and safely make her way off campus.
“It was an incredibly eye-opening experience. It really made me look over my shoulder,” says Melo.
A newly admitted student at UCSB, Melo couldn’t believe this was happening again, and to a community she had just become apart of.
“It was hard to believe this was happening again, but that’s just it, this kind of thing can happen anywhere,” she says. Though she was rattled when a friend told her about the UCSB shooting, Melo understood she wasn’t in any imminent danger and expects the school’s security will most likely be heavily increased.
Another SMC student recently admitted to UCSB, Avi Khanian, was also rattled by the shocking events of last Friday night. Khanian was supposed to be in Santa Barbara on Friday to speak with counselors and tour the school with his father.
Lucky for Khanian, he missed a lab quiz for his chemistry class and had to stay and cancel his trip to make up the work. He was also not on campus during the SMC shooting last year.
“For some reason luck is on my side,” he says.
UCSB students held a memorial “Day of Mourning and Reflection” on Monday and Tuesday to honor the students killed and injured in the rampage, the families affected, and the wounded community as a whole.