Isla Vista shootings: 7 dead in shootings near UC Santa Barbara; rampage mirrors threats made on YouTube

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A gunman identified as Elliot Rodger allegedly either stabbed or shot six before apparently killing himself after posting a YouTube video laying out his plans. Rodger was found dead behind the wheel of his BMW, which crashed into a parked car at the end of the shooting rampage. Seven others remained hospitalized.

Highlights

Update 6:05 p.m. Sheriff: Man in disturbing YouTube video is Elliot Rodger, who killed 6; gunman killed 3 people at home 

Sheriff Bill Brown identified the gunman who went on a shooting rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara as 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, a student at Santa Barbara City College.

RELATED: What we know about alleged UC Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger

Brown said Rodger killed three people at his apartment, who were among the six left dead Friday night during the shootings. The suspected gunman died from what was apparently a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, Brown said.

Sheriff Bill Brown called it a "chaotic, rapidly unfolding convoluted incident" that involved 10 locations and 12 separate crime scenes. There were a total of seven fatalities, including the suspect, as well as 13 injuries, Brown said. The injuries include four injured by the suspect's vehicle, eight with gunshot wounds and one other minor injury.

Three male victims were killed at Rodger's apartment before the other victims, and they were apparently repeatedly stabbed, Brown said.

The second location was Alpha Psi sorority, where members of the sorority reported loud, aggressive knocking, but no one opened the door, Brown said. Witnesses reported that three women standing outside the sorority were shot by the suspect from across the street, Brown said, with two female victims dying and one victim injured. The two victims who were killed were Katherine Cooper and Veronika Weiss.

The final victim, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, was shot and killed, apparently by Rodger, at a nearby delicatessen afterward.

The other three victims were yet to be identified as deputies continued to process the crime scene at Rodger's apartment.

During his alleged rampage, Rodger fired at deputies, several of which returned fire. Rodger was struck in his left hip by one of the deputies' bullets, Brown said. He also hit multiple people with his BMW, including two bicyclists, the second of which was thrown onto the hood and caved in the windshield, Brown said.

After his BMW crashed into a parked car, deputies removed Rodger from the vehicle and handcuffed him, but he was already dead from what was apparently a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Brown said.

Brown said that three handguns were recovered from the suspect's vehicle, along with 41 10-round magazines. All three guns were legally purchased and registered to the suspect, Brown said.

Brown said that his 141-page manifesto showed that he was severely mentally disturbed, and said the video posted prior to the attack by Rodger was "chilling."

Brown said that deputies had three previous contacts with Rodger, including one checking his welfare after a request from his family. He downplayed the concerns, Brown said.

Dr. Stephen Kaminski of Cottage Hospital, the hospital's trauma services director, said that four patients were treated and released last night, with seven transported to their trauma center. Two are in good condition, three are fair and two remained in serious condition, Kaminski said.

Mike Roe

Update 4:16 p.m. Victim's father shares emotional anti-gun statement as Isla Vista copes

Ricardo Martinez, the father of victim Christopher Martinez, 20, spoke Saturday afternoon.

"Our son Christopher Martinez and six others are dead. Our family has a message for every parent out there: You don't think it'll happen to your child until it does. Chris was a really great kid. Ask anyone who knew him. His death has left our family lost and broken.

"Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven irresponsible politicans and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris's right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, 'Stop this madness!' Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, 'Not one more!'"

Isla Vista, which is centered on university life with outdoor cafes, bike shops, burger joints, sororities and fraternities blocks from the beach, was shrouded in fog and unusually quiet Saturday.

Police tape crisscrossed Isla Vista streets, while blood was still visible on the asphalt Saturday. Bullet holes could be seen in the window of the IV Deli Mark and a parked car. 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.

"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.

Alan Shifman — a lawyer who represents Peter Rodger, one of the assistant directors on "The Hunger Games" — issued a statement on behalf of the family, whose son, Elliot Rodger, made the YouTube video in question.

"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.

The family is not ready to speak publicly yet, but wants to cooperate fully with police, public agencies and "any other person who feels that they need to help prevent these situations from ever occurring again," Shifman said.

"My client's mission in life will be to try to prevent any such tragedies from ever happening again," he said.

Shifman said the family is "staunchly against guns" and supports gun-control laws. "They are extremely, extremely upset that anybody was hurt under these circumstances," he said.

The gunman got into two gun battles before crashing his black BMW into a parked car. It wasn't immediately clear whether he was killed by gunfire or if he committed suicide. A semi-automatic handgun was recovered.

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a short statement Saturday afternoon on the Isla Vista shootings.

"Anne and I were saddened to learn of this senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those mourning the loss of their loved ones during this difficult time."

AP with KPCC staff

Update 1:44 p.m. Student heard gunshots; mother seeks to support community at local church

UC Santa Barbara student Shannon Baker, 21, was drinking with friends and walking down Camino Pescadero street when a black BMW raced by. She heard gunshots, which she thought were fireworks at the time. 

“It was terrible, it was so sad,” Baker said. “There was so many cops, they were running down the streets just like yelling at people to get inside."

Baker and her friends ducked into the nearest house, confusing the residents inside who they didn't know. 

“A lot of people weren’t listening, which is scary,” she said, referring to the students who were out on the streets when the shooting took place. 

Baker said she had her head out the door trying to understand what was going on when the BMW crashed. She heard the glass shatter. 

Saturday morning, Linda Nelson headed straight to St. Michael's University Church in Isla Vista, where she's been a member since the 1980s. The church put up signs encouraging students who live in the neighborhood to stop in for support. She wanted to be there to nurture people struggling with the events of Friday night.

"This incident is like having a hole in the community, like an unraveling in a sweater," she said.

Nelson was short on sleep — her teenage children were out Friday night when the shooting occurred.

"We immediately were on the cell phone saying, 'where are you, please come home,'" she said. "We were wide awake until they were both home."

Nelson said the helicopters and response operation could be heard well into the night, even from her home five miles away.

Mary Plummer/KPCC

Update 1:28 p.m. Elliot Rodger previously diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome

A lawyer for the family of Elliot Rodger told reporters that the boy had a history of therapy and work with social workers, along with being diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, the Associated Press reports.

"The child was diagnosed at an earlier age of being a highly functional Asperger's syndrome child," lawyer Alan Shifman said, according to the AP. "He had multiple therapists. He had a social worker who as recently as last week was concerned, and who's the one who actually called the police."

"This country, this world needs to address mental illness, and the ramifications from not recognizing these illnesses," Shifman said, the AP reports.

 — AP with KPCC staff

Update 1:11 p.m. Family called police about son Elliot Rodger several weeks ago

The family of a man they believe went on a shooting rampage near a Santa Barbara, California, university called police several weeks ago after being alarmed by YouTube videos "regarding suicide and the killing of people," a lawyer said Saturday.

Police interviewed Elliot Rodger and found him to be a "perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human," family attorney Alan Shifman said.

Shifman added that police did not find a history of guns, but did say Rodger "didn't have a lot of friends," had trouble making friends and didn't have any girlfriends.

Shifman is the attorney for Peter Rodger, who was one of the assistant directors on "The Hunger Games." Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the shooter.

AP

Update 11:20 a.m. Family believes shooter was Hollywood director's son, attorney says

An attorney for a Hollywood director says the family has been contacted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, but authorities will not confirm whether their son Elliot was the shooter.

The family has not been notified of their son's death, attorney Alan Shifman tells KPCC. Shifman is the attorney for Peter Rodger, who was an assistant director on "The Hunger Games."

Police say they are investigating a YouTube video connected to the case that shows a man describing a plan to kill women.

Alleged video of alleged killer

Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the shooter, and the identity of the person in the video could not be independently confirmed.

AP

Update 10:44 a.m. UC Santa Barbara confirmed that victims included students at the school:

"The University is closely monitoring the details that are emerging about the shootings Friday night in the neighboring community of Isla Vista. The UC Police Department is working closely with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office in support of the ongoing investigation. We have been notified that several of our students were taken to local hospitals last night, but we do not have additional information at this time. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those affected.
 
"The University has been making counseling services available for students throughout the night and has set up emergency housing for displaced students. The University is also setting up a call center for parents and students with questions."

UC president Janet Napolitano issued a statement on the shootings:

“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news of a mass shooting last night in the Isla Vista area near UC Santa Barbara. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy, their families and the entire Santa Barbara community. I have been in touch with UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang since the news broke, and have told him the UC Office of the President will assist his campus in any way we can.
 
“While details on the shooting are scarce and families are still being notified, the campus is already taking steps in response. University officials have set up a room for families who are coming to campus, and are making counseling services available to any students, faculty and staff who need our support. UC Santa Barbara officials are also working with the local County Sheriff’s Office and have opened the campus’ Emergency Operations Center. We will share additional information as it becomes available.”

KPCC staff

Original story (updated): The gunman fired for 10 minutes from his BMW as he made his way down streets filled with university students walking, biking and skateboarding in the beach community near Santa Barbara, picking off people one by one in a deadly rampage that chillingly mirrored threats made on a YouTube video posted that same night. Seven people were killed in all, including the gunman.

The lone gunman was found dead behind the wheel of the BMW that crashed into a parked car, ending the shootings Friday night in the beach neighborhood of Isla Vista near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Seven others remained hospitalized with serious injuries.

Authorities were not naming the shooter yet but said they had identified him. Investigators were analyzing a YouTube video in which a young man sits in a car and looks at the camera, laughing often, and says he is going to take his revenge against humanity.

A semi-automatic handgun was recovered from the scene near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Investigators know the gunman's name, but Brown said he couldn't release it pending notification of relatives.

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

Officials would not say whether the person in the video was a suspect in the shooting.

"It's obviously the work of a mad man," Brown said.

In the video, posted Friday, the man sits in a black car and looks at the camera, laughing often, and says he is going to take his revenge against humanity. He 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.

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. There had to have been at least like two guns. There were a lot of shots," he said.

The shootings occurred at several sites, resulting in nine crime scenes, police said.

A visibly shaken student told the station she was approached by the driver of a black BMW who flashed a handgun and asked "Hey, what's up?" The student, who didn't provide her full name, said she thought he was carrying an airsoft gun and kept walking. She said seconds later, she felt something buzz by her head and quickly realized they were bullets.

Kathrin Schirazi Rad got a call from her 21-year-old son, Adrian Timothy Petersson, who told her in a shaky voice that he had been knocked off his skateboard by a BMW being chased by police about 9 p.m. Friday. He hurt his shoulder, but he went home after being checked by first responders to the scene.

"He was in shock," said Rad, who lives in Sweden. "He saw some plastic bags and said somebody must have died. He couldn't confirm anything. He was pretty shaken up. It was so many things happening at the same time."

The victims' identities were not immediately released.

In a statement, the University of California, Santa Barbara said it's "shocked and saddened" by the shootings. The university said several students were shot and taken to the hospital.

No deputies were injured or shot. Brown called it a "heartbreaking situation for a community next to a world-class university."

Isla Vista has a reputation for excessive partying. Last month, an annual spring bash spiraled 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 and is locked up in a state mental hospital.

The Associated Press

Video transcript

A transcript of the video that authorities say may be tied to the shootings (via the Daily Telegraph):

"Hi, [name] here. Well, this is my last video. It all has to come to this. Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you.

"For the last eight years of my life, since I hit puberty, I've been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires, all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men, never to me.

"I'm 22 years old and still a virgin, never even kissed a girl. And through college, 2 1/2 years, more than that actually, I'm still a virgin. It has been very torturous.

"College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. In those years I've had to rot in loneliness, it's not fair.

"You girls have never been attracted to me. I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me but I will punish you all for it. It's an injustice, a crime because I don't know what you don't see in me, I'm the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman. I will punish all of you for it. [laughs]

"On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house at UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see inside there. All those girls I've desired so much. They have all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance toward them, while they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes.

"I take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male. [laughs] Yes, after I have annihilated every single girl in the sorority house, I'll take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there. All those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasure while I've had to rot in loneliness all these years. They all look down upon me every time I tried to join them, they've all treated me like a mouse.

"Well, now I will be a god compared to you, you will all be animals, you are animals and I will slaughter you like animals. I'll be a god exacting my retribution on all those who deserve it and you do deserve it just for the crime of living a better life than me.

"The popular kids, you never accepted me and now you will all pay for it. Girls, all I ever wanted was to love you, be loved by you. I wanted a girlfriend. I wanted sex, love, affection, adoration.

"You think I'm unworthy of you. That's I crime I can never get over. If I can't have you girls, I will destroy you. [laughs] You denied me a happy life and in turn I will deny all of you life, it's only fair. I hate all of you.

"Humanity is a disgusting, wretched, depraved species. If I had it in my power I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood and rightfully so. You deserve to be annihilated and I will give that to you. You never showed me any mercy so I will show you none. [laughs]

"You forced me to suffer all my life, now I will make you all suffer. I waited a long time for this. I'll give you exactly what you deserve, all of you. All you girls who rejected me, looked down upon me, you know, treated me like scum while you gave yourselves to other men. And all of you men for living a better life than me, all of you sexually active men. I hate you. I hate all of you. I can't wait to give you exactly what you deserve, annihilation."

KPCC staff

This story has been updated.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the owner of the apartment. KPCC regrets the error.

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