Six people are dead and thirteen injured in a drive-by shooting in Isla Vista, close to the University of Santa Barbara, California. The gunman, who has been identified as 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, a student at UCSB, was the son of Peter Rodger, the assistant director of one of the Hunger Games films.
Prior to the shooting, which started around 9:27 p.m. Friday night, Rodger had stabbed and killed three of his roommates. The shooting lasted for about 10 minutes, ending with Rodger crashing his car into a parked car. When police approached his vehicle, they found him dead with a gunshot wound to the head.
Witnesses state that Rodger drove through multiple areas of the neighborhood in a black BMW, shooting at people in the street. Police dispatch received a phone call around 9:27 p.m. reporting the shootings. As they arrived on the scene and began helping victims, they heard more gunshots close by.
When the Santa Barbara shooting first began, Nikolaus Becker was sitting outside of the Habit Burger on Embarcadero Del Norte, eating. He mistook the gunfire for firecrackers, but then saw police running when a second round of shots was fired. Police ordered him and others who were outside to get inside the restaurant and take cover. The third round of shots was fired as Rodger’s BMW made a sharp turn in front of the eatery. and shortly after a woman came into the restaurant crying and saying that her friend had been shot.
Brad Martin, a student at UCSB, stated that while his girlfriend was walking to his house near Del Playa, Rodger’s BMW pulled up next to her and he asked, “Hey, what’s up?” then flashed a gun and pointed it at her face. As she began to turn around and run, she heard gunshots being fired right behind her.
Around 9:33 p.m. Rodger opened fire on police officers, who began shooting back. He sped off down Del Playa Drive and crashed into a parked black Jeep, according to Niklas Svennefiord, who is also a UCSB student. It was then that Rodger was approached by police officers and found dead in his car with a semi-automatic handgun.
Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Kelly Hoover revealed that seven victims were hospitalized after the shooting and were being treated for gunshot wounds or serious injuries as a result of the incident. It had been reported that one of the victims was in surgery. Hoover also stated that this investigation is very complex and active and involves an estimated nine crime scenes. A press conference was held around 2 a.m. and Sheriff Bill Brown described the event as a “mass murder situation,” stating that there is only one suspect and that this deadly shooting is “obviously the work of a madman.”
According to Hoover, the sheriff’s office is analyzing written and video evidence that implies that the Santa Barbara shooting was a premeditated mass murder. Elliot Rodger has reportedly posted several YouTube videos, one of them, currently being reviewed as evidence, is titled “Retribution.” In this video, which is several minutes long, he talks about girls who have either ignored or rejected him over the years and states that he will “punish you all for it.” Other videos posted by Rodger were titled, “Life is so unfair because girls don’t want me,” and “…Lonely Vlog, Life is so unfair.”
By: Sarah Temori