Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Santa Monica College students react to shootings

by Take Two®

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A makeshift memorial in front of the library at Santa Monica College. The college reopened Monday following a shooting Friday near and on the campus that left five people dead. The alleged shooter was shot and killed by police in the campus library, which remained closed Monday. Corey Moore/KPCC

The mood was somber Monday, as Santa Monica College students returned to campus  after the shootings that left 5 people dead and several others injured on Friday.

KPCC's Corey Moore spoke with students  who were studying for finals at the campus library.

26-year-old David Iwamizu, a first year at SMC, was on campus to take a Chinese final. He was on a bus on Pico Boulevard headed to campus Friday when he heard gunshots and sirens and  saw helicopters. He had planned to study at the library that day.

Addressing speculation that the alleged gunman, 23-year-old John Zawahri might have suffered from mental issues, Iwamizu said he thinks more should be done in the U.S. to help people who are mentally ill.

"We can make laws, we can bring more police on campus but that's not going to stop people that have problems from committing these acts, so I really think we (as a nation) should take measures to help people like that and prevent them from doing acts like this.  That's the solution.  Just making laws against it... it doesn't really work." 

Another student, 19-year-old  Psychology major Tony Ruiz,  was on campus Monday morning to take his English and Political Science finals. He wasn't on campus at the time of the shooting Friday, but his friend who was near the library when the shooting took place, called him crying.  Ruiz said he felt uncomfortable  being back on campus but said "we have to move on."  

"Feels kind of dark and scary.  For some reason I can feel like... people have a lot of fear... they're just worried today... walking down [on campus] I just feel the whole incident happening again."

A Santa Monica College commencement ceremony is scheduled for 6 pm tomorrow evening. 

Police are still piecing together evidence in the shootings, which began when gunman John Zawahri allegedly shot and killed his father and brother.

The gunman then headed towards Santa Monica College, where he shot and killed 68-year-old groundskeeper Carlos Franco  and shot his 26-year-old daughter Marcela Franco.

He was then shot and killed by police.



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