UPDATE: California gunman stabbed three to death before shooting rampage

Seven people killed including gunman

Sheriff's officials say the man who went on a rampage near a Santa Barbara university, stabbed three people to death at his apartment before his public crime spree.

The three male victims are among the six left dead Friday night during violence near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Elliot Rodger the suspected gunman, apparently killed himself with a gunshot to the head.

At a news conference Saturday night, Sheriff Bill Brown called it a "chaotic, rapidly unfolding convoluted incident" that unfolded across 10 crime scenes.  11 people were hurt, seven remain in hospital.

Police described how Rodger went from one location to another and opened fire on random people and exchanged gunfire with deputies before he crashing his BMW. Brown said the suspect had three guns and 400 rounds of unused ammunition in his car.

Brown identified 22-year-old Rodger as a student at Santa Barbara City College.

Rodger fired for 10 minutes as he made his way through the beach community of Isla Vista where students were walking, biking and skateboarding in a deadly rampage that chillingly mirrored threats made on a YouTube video posted that same night.

Investigators were analyzing a YouTube video in which a young man who identifies himself as Elliot Rodger sits in a car and looks at the camera, laughing often, and says he is going to take his revenge against humanity.

"It's obviously the work of a madman," Bill Brown said.

Earlier Saturday, Alan Shifman — a lawyer who represents Peter Rodger, one of the assistant directors on "The Hunger Games" — issued a statement saying his client believes his son, Elliot Rodger, was the shooter.

"The Rodger family offers their deepest compassion and sympathy to the families involved in this terrible tragedy. We are experiencing the most inconceivable pain, and our hearts go out to everybody involved," Shifman said.

Richard Martinez said his son Christopher Martinez, 20, was killed in the shooting. He blamed politicians and gun-rights proponents. "When will this insanity stop? ... Too many have died. We should say to ourselves 'not one more,'" he said.

The shootings started around 9:30 p.m. in Isla Vista, a roughly half-square-mile community next to UC Santa Barbara's campus and picturesque beachside cliffs.

Alexander Mattera, 23, said his friend Chris Johnson was walking out of an improv comedy show when he was shot in front of a popular pizza place. He stumbled into a nearby house.

"He walked into these random guys' house bleeding," he said.

Mattera was sitting at a bonfire with friends when at least one gunshot whizzed overhead. The friends ran for cover when they heard the barrage of gunfire.

"We heard so many gunshots. It was unbelievable. I thought they were firecrackers," he said.

Describing the shootings as "premeditated mass murder," Brown said a YouTube video posted Friday that shows a young man describing plans to shoot women appears to be connected to the attack.

UC Santa Barbara senior Kyley Scarlet said she heard the BMW smash to a halt outside a house she was in.

"We ran outside and saw a bicyclist had been hit," she said. "Then the police dragged a body out of the car. It was him," she said.

As vice president of student government, Scarlet said she called a UCSB associate dean of student to advise her a student may have been hurt.

Scarlet, who is a former sorority president, said two girls from a sorority next door were killed on the lawn of Alpha Phi, where a pile of flowers grew on Saturday. Crying students wandered up to the spot, shook their heads and hugged each other.

Scarlet said a third sorority member was wounded there as well. She said all three were in the same sorority, which she did not identify. She said they were neither in her sorority nor in Alpha Phi.

Scarlet said she was very disturbed by the video describing his anger at sorority girls.

"It's hard thinking my actions, being part of a sorority, led him to do this," she said. "When I saw that video I was shaking and crying."

In the video, Rodger describes loneliness and frustration because "girls have never been attracted to me," and says, at age 22, he is still a virgin. The video, which is almost seven minutes long, appears scripted. The identity of the person in the video could not be independently confirmed.

Attorney Shifman said the Rodger family called police several weeks ago after being alarmed by YouTube videos "regarding suicide and the killing of people" that Elliot Rodger had been posting.

Police interviewed Elliot Rodger and found him to be a "perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human," but noted that he had few friends and no girlfriend, he added. Police did not find a history of guns.  They said the guns used in Saturday's shootings were all purchased separately and legally and will all registered to Rodger.

Rodger wrote that the visit from deputies on April 30 nearly derailed his plan for vengeance.

In a 141-page manifesto and autobiography dubbed "My Twisted World", Rodger expresses relief that his apartment wasn't searched because police would have found his weapons and his writings and foiled his plan.

Local deputies have had contact with Rodger two other times in the last year.  Last July, he approached them with an accusation of assault, but investigators found he may have been the instigator in a fight and put the case on hold.  A few months later, Rodger performed a citizen's arrest on his roommate for stealing three candles worth $22 from him. Rodger called police and the roommate was charged with petty theft.

Isla Vista, which is centered on university life with outdoor cafes, bike shops, burger joints, sororities and fraternities, was shrouded in fog and unusually quiet the day after the violence.

Police tape crisscrossed Isla Vista streets, while blood was still visible on the asphalt. Bullet holes pierced windows of a parked car and the IV Deli Mart. A small shrine of flowers was growing outside the business, whose floors inside were stained with blood. For much of the day, the wrecked BMW driven by the shooter remained on the street, its windshield smashed in and its driver's door wide open.

Tyler Martin, a UCSB freshman from Danville, California, was visiting his injured friend at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where the seven victims were being treated.

He said two friends were riding longboards near his home about 9:30 p.m. when a car suddenly came up from behind and ran over one and clipped the other. Martin ran outside to help and tended to his most injured friend.

"As I was leaning over and trying to comfort him — he was in a lot of pain, obviously — I heard pop, pop, pop," Martin said.

The friend who was run over suffered leg injuries and was in surgery Saturday. The other friend was not seriously hurt.

In a statement, the university said it was "shocked and saddened" that several students were shot.

"This is almost the kind of event that's impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict," UC President Janet Napolitano told reporters after giving the commencement speech at Laney College in Oakland, California.

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown offered his condolences to the victims' families, saying he was saddened to learn "of this senseless tragedy."

The Rodger family is not ready to speak publicly yet, but wants to cooperate fully with police, Shifman said.

"My client's mission in life will be to try to prevent any such tragedies from ever happening again," he said. "This country, this world, needs to address mental illness and the ramifications from not recognizing these illnesses."

Isla Vista has a reputation for excessive partying. Last month, an annual spring bash spiralled into violence as young people clashed with police and tossed rocks and bottles. A university police officer and four deputies were injured and 130 people were arrested.

The community has experienced other tragedies in the past.

In 2001, the son of "Ally McBeal" TV director Daniel Attias ran down four pedestrians with his car on a crowded Isla Vista street. Witnesses testified that part-time college student David Attias got of the car and shouted: "I am the angel of death!"

David Attias was ruled insane after he was convicted of second-degree murder.

Leave a comment:

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  1. Lisa posted on 05/24/2014 12:15 PM
    Enough with the guns already.
    How many more innocent people have to die beacyse some nut case has a death wish.
  2. Lisa posted on 05/25/2014 12:32 AM
    2nd thoughts - when will people learn that guns are an abomination????

    This young man was lead to violence because he was regected by girls and was still a virgin at 22. He said he never even kissed a girl. If only I had been there to have sex with him then this horrible tragedy might have been averted. What a sad state of affiairs.....
    1. Angry Bill posted on 05/25/2014 12:54 AM
      @Lisa I too am also a lonely, rejected, mundane, repetitive and wholly unremarkable person without friends or even a girlfriend. I'm also 50 yrs old and a virgin. Can I take you up on that offer?
    2. Lisa posted on 05/25/2014 12:57 AM
    3. kenfromcanada posted on 05/25/2014 12:41 PM
      @Lisa Angry Bill - you aren't missing much - Lisa appears to be a new troll - at one site is KC, at another Mohammed, another a Laís Sakurai, another a Shari. another 'L'......

      Some of the sites:

      The Laís Sakurai personae - claims to be a 10 year old.....

      Man, we are getting troll after troll here as of late.
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