<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - ]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/feature/mas-shooting-near-uc-santa-barbara http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:13:29 -0700 Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:13:29 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Isla Vista Victims' Moms Speak Out]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 10:34:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/06-18-2014-moms-th.jpg

The mothers of two UC Santa Barbara students slain in an Isla Vista apartment last month are calling on parents worldwide to teach their children compassion and keep a closer watch on them, weeks after the bloody rampage that claimed six young innocent peoples' lives.

“We are not living our lives any more. We are surviving day by day,” said Kelly Wang. Her son, George Chen, 19, of San Jose, was fatally stabbed May 23 in his friends' apartment amid Elliot Rodger's killing spree in Isla Vista.

“Something needs to change,” she added, clutching the hand of Jane Liu,  whose only son, Weihan “David” Wang, a 20-year-old from Fremont who was roommates with Rodger in the apartment where the men were killed, was also killed.

The two women and Chen’s father, Junan Chen, a software engineer at Juniper Networks, spoke exclusively to NBC Bay Area on Wednesday in the Chens' San Jose living room, adorned with uplifting Buddhist sayings to pass to guests as they exit their modest home.

A small shrine to their son was created in a small bedroom facing east – his photo, incense, a candle, Buddhist music and his favorite treats, potato chips and a bottle of Coke – were arranged to help his soul pass to a more peaceful place, his mother said.

"It is the parents’ responsibility to watch their children," Wang said, adding that her family's Chinese heritage meant close bonding between parents and their children. "We teach them community service and to care and love others. It is the parents’ responsibility to make sure their children are not so full of hatred."

“Our pain,” she added, “is unbearable, unspeakable. We hope we are the last family who has to experience this.”

Liu added that responsibility extends even further to that - to property managers who rent apartments, to police who conduct welfare checks, to family psychologists - and basically to anyone who notices inklings of trouble in a young person who may need help. 

"Everybody in society has a responsibility," said Liu, an oncology nurse at Washington Hospital in Fremont. "This can be preventable."

George Chen’s ashes, along with the ashes of David Wang, will be buried somewhere together in the Bay Area, their parents said.

The parents of a third friend killed in the apartment that night — C.H., 20, of San Jose, whose family requested that his initials be used instead of his full name — were in China on Wednesday, burying their son’s ashes.

All three men were sophomores at UC Santa Barbara, and Chen had simply been visiting his buddies at the apartment they shared with Elliot Rodger.

Wang and C.H. had ended up rooming with Rodger after the complex's property manager randomly selected the three to live together based on the students' applications.

A shrine to slain UC Santa Barbara student George Chen was set up in his San Jose bedroom..

 

Kelly Wang specifically directed her words Wednesday to their sons' killer's father, Peter Rodger, a Hollywood director who worked on "The Hunger Games" and has an upcoming interview exclusive with ABC’s Barbara Walters.

Wang said they are worried all the attention will increase the focus on "the killing part of the story.”

Peter Rodger and his ex-wife said in a statement after the killings that they were "crying in pain" for the victims and their families. "It is now our responsibility to do everything we can to help avoid this from happening to any other family," they said.

Rodger did not immediately respond to an NBC Bay Area request for comment on Wednesday.  However, a spokesman at Rodger Pictures said he would pass an emailed question to Rodger and his lawyers.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff told the public that Peter Rodger and Elliot Rodger’s mother had seen their son's violent 137-page manifesto just minutes before the rampage and had begun racing toward Santa Barbara – but it was too late.

Before they could get to Santa Barbara, Elliot Rodger had fatally stabbed the three men in his apartment and had begun a shooting spree that left another three UC Santa Barbara students dead.

Those victims were sorority sisters Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, of Chino Hills, and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, of Westlake Village, as well as Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos, who was gunned down at a deli.

Elliot Rodger killed himself after the rampage.

Kelly Wang, a software engineer at SeaChange International, said she had tried to teach her son George to practice love and compassion from a young age.

When George was little, his mother taught him early to volunteer at such places as the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, where he learned to care for anyone in need. They would also feed the homeless together as a family and George often sang at a local nursing home. In high school, he tutored students in math.

Parents are their childrens' first teachers, she said. And if children show signs of mental illness, she said, then parents must do everything in their power to stay at their sides and help.

“Children are hungry for parents’ time, to be physically with them,” she said. “I would quit my job. I would check on him every day. I would invite friends to come over. I would make sure he was taking his medicine. This is more important that money.”

The irony, Wang and Liu said, was that if their sons had known that Elliot Rodger was in need or suffered from mental illness, they would have been the first to help.
 

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<![CDATA[Photos Show Fathers of Isla Vista Gunman, Victim Embrace]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 03:58:12 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/fathers+rodger+martinez+isla+vista+shooting+14405408496_137f919dfd_h.jpg

Newly released photos of the June 1 private meeting between the fathers of Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger and victim Christopher Michaels-Martinez show the two men together in the days after the tragedy that left seven people, including the gunman, dead.

Details about the meeting or its location were not disclosed. The three photos released Monday show the Richard Martinez and Peter Rodger seated together and talking, hugging each other and shaking hands.

UC Santa Barbara student Michaels-Martinez, 20, was the last of three shooting victims to be gunned down by Rodger May 23 in the Southern California college town about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. He was shot and killed outside a deli after Rodger fatally stabbed three people at his Isla Vista apartment before the shooting rampage.

The violence ended with a shootout involving deputies and a crash. Rodger, 22, died from a self-inflicted gunshot, according to authorities.

Martinez told reporters in the days after the tragedy that he hoped to meet with Rodger, a film director and photographer. Both families have issued statements in which they expressed sorrow for all the victims. 

Just hours after learning of his son's death, Martinez issued an emotional plea to end gun violence. His son was an English major who was looking forward to spending his junior year in London. The son of a criminal defense attorney and a deputy district attorney in San Luis Obispo, he planned to attend law school after graduation.

He worked hard in school and enjoyed playing several sports, his father said during a campus memorial service last month for the victims.

Rodger family friend Simon Astaire, who provided the photos of the meeting, told NBC's Today Show last month that Peter Rodger and his wife tried to find their son after his social worker contacted them and brought their attention to a YouTube video in which their son talked of "retribution" and threatened students. They were headed toward Isla Vista in separate vehicles when they heard news of the shooting on the radio, Astaire said.

Astair also provided a statement from the Roger family during the interview:

"We're crying in pain for the victims and their families. It breaks out hearts on the level we did not think possible," the statement read. "The feeling of knowing that it was our son's actions that caused the tragedy can only be described as hell on earth. It is now our responsibility to do everything we can to help avoid this from happening to any other family. Not only to avoid any more innocents destroyed but also to identify and deal with mental issues that drove our son to do what he did."

 



Photo Credit: Simon Astaire]]>
<![CDATA[Records Shed New Light on Isla Vista Shooter]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 07:18:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/195*120/flowers+isla+vista+window.jpg

New records obtained by the NBC4 I-team shed new light on the troubled life of Elliot Rodger, the man behind last month’s shooting rampage in Isla Vista.

One of the records shows Rodger had one of his roommates arrested, four months before stabbing him to death at the beginning of his rampage.

Rodger called 911 after he said roommate Cheng Yuan Hong had stolen candles from his bedroom.

Officers showed up, and after talking to the two men arrested Hong for the petty theft of $22 worth of candles. Hong was taken to jail and warned not to further harass Rodger or face additional charges.

The records describe an ongoing dispute between the two men over what they say were the disappearances of small household items.

The records also describe a violent altercation Rodger had with a group of four other men in July of 2013. Authorities at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital informed police that a patient there had suffered a number of injuries he claimed was the result of a beating.

When officers interviewed Rodger, records show he told police he was at a party at a home on Del Playa Drive in Goleta, when he was involved in an argument with four other men. Rodger then said the argument turned physical and he was pushed off a 10-foot high ledge onto the sidewalk below.

According to the report, Rodger then said a group of 10 men followed him and began kicking and punching him. During the assault, Rodger alleged, his attackers used a gay slur.

Officers began investigating what they believed was a hate crime.

The investigating officer then appears skeptical of Rodger’s account, saying “Rodger .. appeared to not be forthcoming with me. He … would not go into great detail about what had occurred.”

The records show additional investigation led officers to a witness, who told police it was Rodger who was the aggressor, attempting to push women off a ledge. The witness told police after attempting to push the women, Rodger jumped off the ledge and ran away until others from the party caught up with him.

The witness told the officer “(Rodger’s) demeanor was strange and he did not appear to be socializing with people at the party.”

The report says Rodger sustained injuries to both forearms and elbows. His face was also swollen with other injuries to his face, back, and left ankle.

According to the documents, Rodger’s father Peter Rodger, a film director and photographer, spoke to tenants who lived upstairs from the home where the party took place, who told him they were not home at the time of the alleged assault.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Internal Sheriff's Probe Launched in Isla Vista Massacre]]> Sat, 31 May 2014 11:01:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP60759146682.jpg

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department has launched an internal investigation into the actions of deputies before and during last week's rampage by a community college student who killed six UCSB students, NBC4's I-Team has learned.

The news comes a day after the department said that deputies knew about disturbing YouTube videos posted by Elliot Rodger three weeks before the rampage, but did not watch them.

Updates: Download the NBCLA News App

In addition to looking at all angles of the department's response, the probe will also examine how authorities handled their first welfare check on April 30 of Rodger, 22.

Six officials -- four deputies, a university police officer and a dispatcher in training -- went out on that call, officials said. Officials said they sent a bigger response because they "were familiar with Rodger" from a call in January in which he alleged his roommate stole candles from him.

During that call, deputies conducted no search of his apartment and determined he was not a threat, saying they found him "to be shy, timid and polite."

When questioned about reported disturbing videos he had posted online, Rodger told them he was having trouble fitting in and the videos were a way of expressing himself.

Typically, the department sends two deputies to a welfare check, officials said.

Rodger stabbed three of his roommates, then shot and killed three others in a spree across the college town of Isla Vista before shooting himself while being pursued by deputies.

Sheriff's officials would not say why deputies did not review Rodgers' videos at the time they learned of them. The videos were the catalyst to generate the call to check on Rodgers' well being.

"We have provided the information we are able to at this time," said Kelly Hoover, a department spokeswoman.

This comes as the county's top law enforcement officer, Bill Brown, is running for re-election on Tuesday.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Vigil Held for SJ Student Killed in Isla Vista Rampage]]> Fri, 30 May 2014 06:45:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/0529-GeorgeChenVigil.jpg

The mother of Isla Vista slaying victim George Chen spoke at a vigil for her son Thursday night, asking everyone in attendance to search their souls and replace any hatred and violence with love.

"As a mother I pray, I pray that there will be an end of killing innocents and there has to be an end of killing innocents," said Kelly Wang, Chen's mother.

Chen, a 2012 graduate from Leland High School in San Jose, was one of six people killed Friday by a deranged man near Santa Barbara. Hundreds of people gathered Thursday night at Leland High to remember Chen.

"This vigil tonight is proof of the kindness he showed us and that is how I want to remember George -- how all of us remembered George," friend Thaddeus Jordan said.

Chen's parents said they were looking forward to having their son back home for summer break.

The 19-year-old student was following in his father's footsteps and studying computer science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was one of three men killed inside an apartment by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, who also lived in the apartment in the Isla Vista area outside Santa Barbara, according to police.

Rodger stabbed to death Chen, his 20-year-old roommate, a 2012 graduate of Lynbrook High School in San Jose whose family asked that he be referred to by his initials, C.H., and Weihan Wang, 20, a graduate of Fremont Christian School in Fremont, police said.

Rodger then gunned down two young women and a young man and injured 13 others in the rampage near the UCSB campus before apparently shooting himself to death inside his car, investigators said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Parents Mourning Victims More Than Son: Friend]]> Thu, 29 May 2014 21:07:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/isla+vista+iv+deli+mart+candles+flowers.jpg

The parents of a man who went on killing rampage in a Southern California college town last week never thought their son would turn violent and still can’t bring themselves to read the chilling manifesto he left behind, a family friend and spokesman said Thursday.

“It’s an awful piece of writing,” Simon Astaire told “Today” show’s Matt Lauer of the 137-page document Elliot Rodger wrote expressing feelings of isolation and resentment toward women he felt rejected him. “They are going through absolutely enough at the moment. They are mourning the victims more than they are mourning their son.”

Rodger, 22, killed six people in a stabbing and shooting rampage before apparently taking his own life during a car pursuit in Isla Vista on Friday night, officials said.

Astaire said Rodger's mother, Chin Rodger, and his father Peter Rodger, tried to find their son after his social worker contacted them and led them to see a troubling email from their son and a YouTube video titled “Retribution.” While racing to Isla Vista in separate cars, they heard news of the shooting near UC Santa Barbara on the radio, Astaire said.

“There’s a shooting, mass killings, and then the black BMW is involved,” said Astaire of what the parents heard. “And they are living their nightmare. They are hearing their son is murdering people.”

Rodger stabbed three men to death inside his Isla Vista apartment prior to the shootings, which started outside the Alpha Phi sorority house with the slayings of two UCSB students, sheriff’s officials said. He went on to fire rounds at multiple locations in the community of student residences, killing another student at a nearby deli.

He apparently shot himself during a car pursuit, officials said.

Asked if the parents tried to piece together what caused their son to carry out the mass shooting, Astaire said, Elliot Rodger "had been living another life for a number of years."

He said the parents thought Elliot Rodger may harm himself, but never other people.

"I suppose the reason that I’m here talking with you," Astaire who is a talent agent and media adviser, told Lauer. "I could at least try to express their deep, deep remorse and grief for these innocents that didn’t return on Friday night."

Astair also read an emotional statement from the Roger family at the beginning of the interview:

“We’re crying in pain for the victims and their families. It breaks out hearts on the level we did not think possible," the statement read. "The feeling of knowing that it was our son’s actions that caused the tragedy can only be described as hell on earth. It is now our responsibility to do everything we can to help avoid this from happening to any other family. Not only to avoid any more innocents destroyed but also to identify and deal with mental issues that drove our son to do what he did.”
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Grieving UC Santa Barbara Students Return to Class]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 20:00:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/ucsb+isla+vista+henley+gate.jpg

Hours after they mourned six classmates at a memorial that drew thousands to the campus stadium, grieving UC Santa Barbara students returned to class Wednesday for the first time since a deadly rampage in nearby Isla Vista.

A large black ribbon now hangs from the campus' Henley Gate in memory of the victims killed Friday by a man who fatally stabbed three people at his apartment before a series of shootings in the community of student residences west of Santa Barbara. Classes were not in session Monday during the Memorial Day holiday and school officials canceled classes Tuesday so students could mourn and attend a victims tribute at Harder Stadium.

The black ribbon on a monument at the campus' east entrance marks another sign of the tragedy. Students who spoke with NBC4 said they were comforted by returning to campus and being around their friends.

"I'm not sitting home alone. My friends are all here, and if you're sitting home alone you feel helpless," said graduate student Bo Yan. "When you're lonely, you just can't find someone to talk with."

In Isla Vista, mourners continued to place flowers at two locations where their classmates were shot and killed. Students have organized several candlelight vigils since Friday, and another vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. in memory of victim Katie Cooper in her hometown of Chino Hills at Calle San Marcos Park.

Candlelight vigils also are planned for Wednesday night on the UC Riverside campus and Thursday at UC Davis.

Also Wednesday, more than 2,000 people signed up to join a paddle-out for the victims. Thousands of flowers were donated to the event, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday off the coast of Isla Vista.

Tuesday evening's memoral was the largest public gathering in honor of the victims and included  passionate words from  Richard Martinez, father of shooting victim Christopher Michaels-Martinez. He received a standing ovation from the crowd after asking them to shout, "Not one more" -- a call to stop mass shootings.

"Not one more," Martinez said from the podium. "Too many people have died, and there should be not one more. How many more people are going to have to die in this situation before the problem gets solved?"

The gunman, 22-year-old Santa Barbara City College student Elliot Rodger, legally obtained three semi-automatic handguns and still had 400 rounds of ammunition when he shot himself to death in a shootout with deputies, authorities said.

Rodger sprayed gunfire as he drove through the streets of Isla Vista, killing 20-year-old Michaels-Martinez at a deli after gunning down Veronika Weiss, 19, and Katherine Breann Cooper, 22. The sorority sisters were shot and killed outside the Alpha Phi house.

Rodger fatally stabbed three men, Weihan Wang, 20; George Chen, 19, and C.H. -- whose family requested he be identified only by the initials -- at his apartment before the shootings.

His plans for what he called "retribution" were outlined in a lengthy manifesto and video posted on YouTube.
 

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<![CDATA[Year After Santa Monica Rampage: "You're There Again"]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 06:26:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/quinones.JPG

A woman whose niece was killed in Southern California's last mass shooting in Santa Monica said Tuesday that the bloody rampage that left six University of California, Santa Barbara students dead has reopened wounds.

Margaret Quinones, whose niece, Marcela, was killed June 7, 2013 when a man with a semi-automatic rifle went on a rampage, said she can no longer keep up with the news of last week's fatal shootings and stabbings in Isla Vista.

"It almost feels like the Santa Barbara shooter came and shot our family again," she said. "You're there again. You can remember where you were, what you were doing, who you saw, how you felt. You also get panic attacks. You can't breathe. You can't sleep."

Quinones' niece was one of five people killed when John Zawahri went on shooting spree through the city that ended up on the Santa Monica College campus. Authorities said Zawahri killed his father and brother at a home before fatally shooting 68-year old mother Margarita Gomez and Marcela and her father Carlos Franco, Quinones' brother in law. Several other people were injured in the attack, which ended when the 23-year-old shooter died in a gun battle with police.

Franco, who worked as a groundskeeper at the college for more than 20 years, was driving his niece to summer classes at the time of the shooting.

"It was his day off because Marcie didn't drive," Quinones said. "So he took Marcela there."

 

Over the last year the family has been through various stages of coping -- from disbelief to numbness.

"You're not in the accountability stage you are not even there," she said. "You are still trying to get through Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays without them."

Now, her thoughts are focused on the families of the victims just a few hours away. She imagines their families having to claim their children's bodies at the morgue.

"It's hard," she said. "It's hard.

For Quinones' family, finding people who allowed them to be emotional helped, as did the outpouring of community support.

"It was that caring from strangers that really helped us, that really gave us the strength to go on," she said.

At Santa Monica College, life for students has also moved on, but not without pause.

"I've thought about it, especially in light of other recent school shootings like the Santa Barbara one last week," said Jordan Davis, a student. "It's scary. Memorials for three of the five victims are constant reminders."

As she reminisces about her loved ones, Quinones hopes that people won't just remember but act.

"I really hope that these people who sit in policy seats get off their tushies and take on the hard issues," she said. "Don't take on the easy issues. You need to be responsible for keeping our families safe."

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<![CDATA[Isla Vista Rampage Renews Gun Debate in CA Capitol]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 05:33:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP922104077349.jpg

As thousands gathered at the University of California, Santa Barbara on Tuesday to mourn six students killed in a weekend rampage, California lawmakers proposed new ways of keeping guns out of the hands of disturbed and potentially violent individuals.

The debate began four days after the shootings and stabbings in the Isla Vista community by 22-year-old community college student Elliot Rodger, who had posted an Internet video outlining his plan to slaughter as many people as possible.

Rodger had legally obtained three semi-automatic handguns and still had 400 unspent rounds of ammunition when he shot himself to death, authorities said.

Two California Assembly members earlier Tuesday proposed legislation that would create a gun violence restraining order that could be sought from a judge by law enforcement at the request of family members and friends.

"When someone is in crisis, the people closest to them are often the first to spot the warning signs but almost nothing can now be done to get back their guns or prevent them from buying more," said Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley, who sponsored the measure with Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara.

Currently, therapists can tell authorities when they fear a client is at risk of committing a violent act. However, there is no prohibition on firearms ownership unless someone has been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.

Another proposal involves establishing statewide protocols for law enforcement officers who are called to check on mentally troubled people.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, suggested that authorities should be required as part of such welfare visits to check whether a person has purchased weapons instead of just talking to them.

Additional steps could include searching the individual's surroundings and talking to roommates, neighbors and relatives, he said.

"There is a lot we can do to prevent these kinds of horrific events in the future," said Steinberg, who has spent much of his time in the Legislature addressing mental health concerns.

State senators spent 35 minutes at the state Capitol eulogizing the students killed in the weekend violence and expressing frustration that such rampages continue despite previous efforts to end the problem.

The rampage came hours after Rodger emailed a lengthy manifesto to his parents, therapists and others, and a month after sheriff's deputies had visited him on a welfare check after his parents became concerned about his postings on YouTube.

The deputies found Rodger to be shy but polite and left without walking through the apartment or talking to anyone else.

Rodger later wrote in his manifesto that deputies would have found his weapons and foiled his plot if only they had done a bit more checking.

Steinberg was joined by Democrats Jim Beall of San Jose, Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara, and William Monning of Carmel in saying that more needs to be done to identify people with severe mental illness and get them the services they need.

Jackson and the other lawmakers said it is important to de-stigmatize mental illness and provide more ways to intervene and save the lives of young people with hopes and dreams.

"They are young people whose parents will never be able to dance at their weddings." Jackson said. "They are people who will never been able to find the cure for cancer or to brighten up the lives of others, because we as a nation have let this kind of behavior go on too long."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[15,000 Expected at UCSB Student Memorial]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 12:42:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/189*120/six+victims+isla+vista+blue+background.jpg Thousands of mourners are expected at a memorial Tuesday evening for victims of the Isla Vista rampage. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at Noon Tuesday May 27, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[UC Santa Cruz Students Mourn Isla Vista Rampage Victims]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 09:31:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/0526-UCSC_vigil.jpg

Hundreds of University of California, Santa Cruz students gathered Monday night for a vigil to mourn and remember six UC Santa Barbara students killed in a violent rampage Friday.

At the vigil, only distance separated students like Jocelyn Zacapa from the sadness on the Santa Barbara campus.

"It didn't hit me until coming here and listening to people talk and hearing names of the victims," Zacapa said.

Several students also cried with relief their loved ones survived.

At UC Santa Barbara, the resumption of classes the day after the Memorial Day holiday has been postponed until Wednesday.

Chancellor Henry Yang declared Tuesday "A Day of Mourning and Reflection," with students and faculty urged to come to campus and gather in Harder Stadium for a memorial at 4 p.m.

View more in Jean Elle's video report above.

NBC Los Angeles' Patrick Healy contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[About the Isla Vista Victims]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 01:00:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/UCSD-Vigil-Isla-Vista-0526_.jpg

Six people were slain on May 23 in Isla Vista when a student at nearby Santa Barbara City College went on a stabbing and shooting rampage before eventually killing himself.

The victims, all students at UC Santa Barbara, had the hopes and dreams associated with college life. Some were looking foward to beginning their careers, others planned to enjoy their remaining time at the campus on the Southern California coast.

Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, Chino Hills
Friends described Cooper as an outgoing artist who could light up a room with her smile. She was about to graduate with a degree in art history but planned to remain in Isla Vista for a year. Cooper grew up in Chino Hills and attended Ayala High School, where she competed in track and was active with several student groups.

"She walked in the room with just the biggest smile on her face," said Jacob Morales, who grew up with Cooper in the same neighborhood.

Veronika Weiss, 19, Thousand Oaks
Weiss was a standout four-sport athlete who "went into everything with such vitality and enthusiasm." She also excelled in math courses and planned to pursue a career in finance. She was a member of the same sorority house in Isla Vista as Cooper.

“She was strong, smart, had a great sense of who she was," father Bob Weiss said.

Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, Los Osos
Michaels-Martinez was an English major who was looking forward to spending his junior year in London. The son of a criminal defense attorney and a deputy district attorney in San Luis Obispo, he planned to attend law school after graduation. He worked hard in school and enjoyed playing several sports, his father said.

"Chris was a really great kid," his father, Richard Martinez, said. "Ask anyone who knew him."

Weihan "David" Wang, 20, Fremont
Weihan "David" Wang was a basketball player who graduated from Fremont Christian School and was studying computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Wang's plan, his mother said, was to return to the Bay Area on June 12, head out on a family trip to Yellowstone National Park two days later and celebrate his 21st birthday in July. He eventually wanted to start a business with his friends.

Jinshuang "Jane" Liu described her son as "a very, very nice boy," the kind who aced his SATs and never bragged about it. The family had moved from Tianjng, China, 10 years ago.

On Tuesday, the principal at Fremont Christian school told NBC Bay Area that a memorial plaque and garden will be created near thebasketball court where Wang liked to play. A family friend has set up a memorial fund for the family.

C.H., 20, San Jose
C.H. grew up in Taipei, graduated in 2012  from Lynbrook High School in San Jose and was studying computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara, according to his Facebook page. His high school drama teacher, Laurel Cohen, told the Mercury News that C.H. was the kind of kid who worked backstage so his peers could bask in the limelight.

"Backstage he was an unsung hero, moving in and out of the shadows unnoticed and silent," she told the paper. "He would do anything for the sake of the show. I often wonder why certain students take drama, but with James it was easy. He loved the process and the people. James was a drama kid. I will always remember him as such."

Editor's Note: Family members requested that the initials C.H. be used to identify the victim.

George Chen, 19, San Jose
George Chen was originally from Ottawa, Canada, according to his Facebook page. He graduated in 2012 from Leland High in San Jose and had been a camp counselor for the YMCA. Paige West of San Jose said in a phone interview that she went to Bret Harte Middle School in San Jose with Chen, whom she described as quiet and a lover of anime.

He was the oldest child among his siblings and enjoyed video games, laughing and parkour, according to his Facebook profile. He would have graduated UC Santa Barbara in 2016.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA["Too Many People Have Died": Father of Slain UCSB Student]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 03:56:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/VICTIM+FATHER.JPG

Thousands of people paid their respects at a memorial service on Tuesday for six UCSB students slain in a rampage on Friday.

Students, faculty, family and friends filled the Harder Stadium for the "Day of Mourning and Reflection" at UC Santa Barbara.

"Frankly, I wish I were not here today ... None of us wants to be here for an occasion like this, but we are here because a series of violent crimes took the lives of six of our students and injured nine more," said Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California system and former secretary of homeland security. "These were individuals who each left a mark on the world around them...

"As long as we hold them in our hearts they are not gone."

The school canceled classes on Tuesday, four days after the shootings and stabbings in the Isla Vista community by 22-year-old community college student Elliot Rodger, who had posted an Internet video outlining his plan to slaughter as many people as possible.

The father of Christopher Michaels-Martinez, 20, killed in Friday's rampage, called for an end to gun violence.

"Not one more!" Richard Martinez said from the podium to a standing ovation and chants repeating the mantra. "Too many people have died, and there should be not one more. How many more people are going to have to die in this situation before the problem gets solved?"

Rodger had legally obtained three semi-automatic handguns and still had 400 unspent rounds of ammunition when he shot himself to death in a shootout with deputies, authorities said.

Martinez also read statements from the families of two other slain students, Cheng Yuan Hong and Weihan Wang, both 20, in which they asked for prayers or blessings on the families of the victims and the killer.

"May we together create a peaceful world and let hatred be gone with the wind," the Hong family statement said.

Richard Martinez said his son was planning to spend his junior year in London next year and law school after graduation.

The shooting death of Michaels-Martinez followed the slayings of Veronika Weiss, 19, and Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, who were shot and killed outside the Alpha Phi sorority house. Weiss and Cooper were members of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.

Rodger fatally stabbed three men, Weihan Wang, 20; George Chen, 19, and C.H., whose family requested he be identified only by the initials.

Rodger, who outlined plans for what he called "retribution" in a lengthy manifesto and video posted on YouTube, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, according to investigators.

Wang's immediate plans included a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park.

Eventually, he wanted to start a business with his friends.

C.H. was studying computer engineering. A family friend described Chen, also studying computer science, as a gentle soul who had a fondness for working with children. Cooper was a talented painter about to graduate with a degree in art history.

Weiss excelled in math and was working toward a career in finance. She was remembered at a poolside ceremony Monday night at a high school swimming complex in Thousand Oaks, about 50 miles southeast of Santa Barbara. The first-year UCSB student was a standout athlete who played water polo at Westlake High School.

"She went into everything with such vitality and enthusiasm," said her father Bob Weiss. "She was strong, smart, had a great sense of who she was."

After hearing about the attack, the Weiss family traveled to Santa Barbara and found one of their daughter's sorority sisters at a hospital. With authorities offering no information, the family drove to one of 12 crime scenes and used a GPS app to track down Veronika’s iPhone.

The tracking feature led the family to the coroner's office.

"The kids keep dying," Bob Weiss said, adding that he was saddened for everyone involved in the violence, including the shooter and his family. "Guns showing up everywhere."

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown confirmed Rodger bought three handguns legally and that all of them were registered.

They were purchased in Burbank, Oxnard and Goleta, he said.

On Monday, Burbank police confirmed that Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives personnel served search warrants at the Burbank location.

Also on Tuesday, the parents of Weihan "David" Wang shared that their son had talked about moving out of the Isla Vista apartment he shared with Rodger. The UCSB student from Fremont did not talk much with Rodger, but was very close with the two victims.

"He was supposed to have come home for the summer soon," said his mother Jinshuang "Jane" Liu.

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<![CDATA[UCSB Declares "Day of Mourning" After Deadly Rampage]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 05:32:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP60759146682.jpg

Isla Vista is not ready to try to resume life as normal.

The Memorial Day holiday saw UC Santa Barbara students out as usual on bikes, on skateboards, on foot in the community adjacent to campus.

But no one traveled very far without passing by another memorial for the victims Friday night of what the violent rampage that left seven dead, including Elliot Rodger, the community college student identified by authorities as the perpetrator.

On so many faces, the pain cannot be hidden.

"It's difficult, but it's really beautiful to see people coming together like this," said Lauren Koch, a graduate student in pschology.

She spoke as she stood at the sidewalk memorial that has grown on Pardall Road.  Two blocks west of the campus entrance is the IV Deli, where student Christopher Martinez was shot to death.

"I want something to change and I want my son's death to mean something," his father, Richard Martinez, said Monday in an interview with NBC News.

Martinez on Saturday decried the access to guns in our society.  Since then, additional issues have come to the fore, including revelations about Rodger's mental health and angry screeds and threats he had posted on YouTube, and also in an email he sent out shortly before the killing
began in Roger's apartment.

"When these things happen, there's a general feeling in the country that these things are hopeless," Martinez said. "You know what? I don't care if it's hopeless. I don't accept that, regardless of whether it is subjectively hopeless, I'm not going to approach it that way."

At UC Santa Barbara, the resumption of classes the day after the Memorial Day holiday has been postponed until Wednesday. 

Chancellor Henry Yang declared Tuesday "A Day of Mourning and Reflection," with students and faculty urged to come to campus and gather in Harder Stadium for a memorial at 4 p.m.

Martinez is among those who will speak.

"My intention is," Martinez began haltingly and with tears welling in his eyes, "to tell those young people who are alive...that  they should try to do the things that my son won't ever have a chance to do."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rampage Almost "Impossible to Prevent": Napolitano]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 04:51:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP126883508736.jpg

The president of the University of California system called the deadly rampage in the seaside college town of Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara "almost the kind of event that's impossible to prevent and impossible to predict."

Janet Napolitano, former secretary of Homeland Security and UC president, spoke after a commencement speech in Oakland on May 24, one day after the killing spree that left seven people including the gunman dead and 13 others injured.

The mass shooting in the UC Santa Barbara community is "almost the kind of event that's impossible to prevent and impossible to predict," Napolitano said. She also issued a statement that said she was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the shooting and sending thoughts and prayers "to the victims of this tragedy, their families and the entire Santa Barbara community."

Six UCSB students were were killed by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, according to authorities. The Santa Barbara City College detailed his plans to go on a murderous rampage in a written manifesto and YouTube videos posted shortly before Friday night's violence.

Rodger stabbed three men to death inside his Isla Vista apartment before fatally shooting three others in the community, officials said. Thirteen other victims suffered gunshot wounds or were injured when Rodger struck them with his BMW 3 series coupe, officials said. Three remained hospitalized Monday.

The gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after a shootout with deputies, according to the sheriff's department. A family friend confirmed to NBC News Sunday that Rodger's parents rushed to Isla Vista as the killings began after discovering the troubling manifesto that outlined plans for what Rodger called "retribution."

After the shootout and a crash that brought an end to the violence, deputies found three semi-automatic handguns along with 400 unspent rounds in the car. All were purchased legally.

Rodger's family has disclosed their son was under the care of therapists.

"He convinced them that it was all a misunderstanding," Sheriff Bill Brown said.

Though Rodger told deputies that he was having social problems and was likely going to leave school, "he was able to convince them that he was not a threat to himself or to anyone else at the time."

The killings renewed the discussion as to how well Southern California law enforcement officials are trained to deal with people who have mental health issues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mental Health Training Reviewed After Isla Vista Killings ]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 03:56:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/vigils+isla+vista+493689285_10+%289%29.jpg

As Santa Barbara authorities answer questions surrounding a welfare check conducted with the Isla Vista gunman before his deadly rampage, other Southern California law enforcement personnel said they receive direct training on how to deal with people who may have mental health issues.

The mental evaluation unit at the Los Angeles Police Department pairs officers with nurses or psychologists to take over mental health-related calls from patrols. These officers are trained to pick up on body language cues and omission of information.

The visits are documented and shared with the Los Angeles County court system.

In Ventura County, preparing officers and deputies to recognize mental health issues has become a normal part of training, said Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Don Aguilar.

About 75 percent of law enforcement in the county is trained in the Crisis Intervention Team Program, he said. Authorities are taught to treat these assessments by having more of a conversation with people rather than interrogating them, Aguilar said.

At least one deputy who has gone through the training is on every patrol shift, Aguilar said.
The preparedness became the norm after a series of shootings in the late 1990s.

To the north of Ventura County, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Sunday that deputies were convinced that Elliot Rodger -- who killed six innocent people and then himself in an attack that had been planned for months -- was not a threat following a welfare check in April.

Family members of Rodger called mental health professionals after growing concerned about his well being.

Authorities were later notified and visited Rodger. Brown said Rodger convinced the deputies that “it was all a misunderstanding.”

It is unclear whether deputies in Santa Barbara County undergo training to deal with people who may have mental health issues.  



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UC Santa Barbara Community Fund to Honor Victims]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 11:47:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/189*120/six+victims+isla+vista+blue+background.jpg

A fund was established to honor students killed in the Friday May 23, 2014 rampage in the college town of Isla Vista.

Six students were killed in a series of shootings and stabbings. They have been identified as Veronika Weiss, 19, of Thousand Oaks; Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, of Chino Hills; Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos; George Chen, 19, of San Jose; C.H., 20, of San Jose; Weihan Wang, 20, of Fremont.

"We have established a fund, The UC Santa Barbara Community Fund, to honor our students who were victims of this tragedy and to memorialize their lasting impact and contributions to the UC Santa Barbara community," Chancellor Henry T. Yang said in a statement.

Editor's Note: Family members requested that victim identified as C.H. be identified only by those initials.

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<![CDATA[Poolside Tribute Honors "Intelligent, Sweet" Teen]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 06:25:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/weisswestlakeNIGHT.jpg

Mourners gathered around the Westlake High School pool deck Monday night to remember one of their beloved former water polo players who was shot and killed in a violent rampage in Isla Vista.

Veronika Weiss, a UC Santa Barbara freshman, was walking outside a sorority house in the beachside college community when she was fatally shot by gunman Elliot Rodger on May 23. She was 19.

Her father was grief stricken as he remembered the good times he shared with his daughter on Memorial Day and said he is "sad for everyone" involved in the tragedy.

“She went into everything with such vitality and enthusiasm,” said Bob Weiss. “She was strong, smart, had a great sense of who she was.”

The Weiss family and dozens of others honored Veronika during a vigil Monday night at Westlake High School’s aquatic center.

"Everybody was just talking about the memories they had with Veronika and all the great times and all the laughter she gave everybody," Westlake High School student Brandan Hall said.

Mourners wore Weiss' favorite color, purple, or Westlake High School attire as they gathered around the pool where she played water polo (pictured). 

"She didn't even live to be 21, the best age there in the world," UCSB student Megan Linder said. "For how intelligent she is, such a sweet person, there's just no way a girl like that can die at a young age for no reason."

Bob said his daughter was looking forward to graduating and wanted to work in the financial area.

Those hopes tragically came to an end when one of Veronika’s sorority sisters called Weiss and told him that they couldn’t get a hold of his daughter.

After hearing about the attack, the Weiss family made their way from their Westlake Village home up to Santa Barbara where they found one of Veronika’s sorority sisters at a hospital.

“We went to the hospital, the emergency room,” Bob said. “There was a girl there, a sister of Veronika. She was going to be released soon.”

With authorities offering the Weiss’ no information, the family drove to one of 12 crime scenes and used a GPS app to track down Veronika’s iPhone.

“The phone was communicating to us Veronika’s exact whereabouts and basically tracked it to the coroner’s office,” Bob said.

Authorities later confirmed what the Weiss family already knew.

“Couple of the sheriff’s ushered us into a nearby church where there were a couple of pastors waiting,” Bob said.

The Weiss family doesn’t know why they lost Veronika, but her father isn’t angry at Rodger, who detailed his plans to carry out the killings in a written manifesto.

“I’m sad for everyone, including the young man and his parents,” Bob said. “They’ve been through hell.”

Weiss believes in order to keep these acts of violence from happening again, there needs to be better ways of helping those suffering from a mental illness.

“The kids keep dying,” Bob said. “Guns showing up everywhere.”

Beverly White contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Dylan Leung]]>
<![CDATA[Gunman's Roommate Wanted to Move]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 09:58:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WeihanWangparents.jpg

Weihan "David" Wang had told his parents he wanted to move out of the Isla Vista apartment he was sharing with Elliot Rodger, saying the 22-year-old Santa Barbara City College student played his music too loud in the middle of the night and wasn't very social.

Then, on Friday night, Rodger went on a killing spree.

He fatally stabbed 20-year-old Wang of Fremont and his two Bay Area friends in their Isla Vista apartment, then killed two sorority sisters and a 20-year-old man at a deli, and injured 13 others, before killing himself, according to authorities.

Sheriff's deputies say Rodger, the son of Hollywood director Peter Rodger, had written a 137-page manifesto about how he wanted revenge on the world. He posted on a May 23 YouTube video called "Life is So Unfair," describing himself as a lonely virgin who had never kissed a girl. He said in those writings that he planned to kill his roommates at the start of his rampage. His Facebook page was full of selfies.

On Monday, Wang's bereft parents, Jinshuang "Jane" Liu and Charlie Wang spoke exclusively to NBC Bay Area before heading to Santa Barbara to be with the parents of the other slain victims.

"He was supposed to have come home for the summer soon," Liu said, speaking from her doorstep, her words choked with emotion, her hands often covering her heart.

Weihan "David" Wang at his 2012 graduation from Fremont Christian School with his parents, Jane Liu and Charlie Wang.

Liu said that her only child - a basketball player who graduated from Fremont Christian School and who was studying computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara - had already found another apartment and planned to move with his friends next semester.

 "Normally, they don't talk to each other," she said of her son and Rodger. "They don't have much interaction."

Wang's plan, his mother said, was to return to the Bay Area on June 12, head out on a family trip to Yellowstone National Park two days later, and celebrate his 21st birthday in July. He eventually wanted to start a business with his friends.

Wang's mother said her son was very close with the other two young men stabbed in the apartment: 19-year-old George Chen and 20-year-old C.H., both of San Jose.

According to their Facebook pages, C.H. was a 2012 graduate of Lynbrook High School and was studying computer engineering. Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley said C.H. pleaded guilty to petty theft after stealing three of Rodger's candles valued at $22.

Chen, originally from Ottawa, Canada, graduated the same year from Leland High in San Jose and had been a camp counselor for the YMCA. Paige West of San Jose said in a phone interview that she went to Bret Harte Middle School in San Jose with Chen, whom she described as quiet and a lover of anime.

Liu, a nurse, received a call at work on Friday night from police.

"For two days, I was not able to sleep," she said. "I still don't know what to do with myself."

As Liu struggled to describe her son - "a very, very nice boy," the kind who aced his SATs and never bragged about it - her husband could only stand in the doorway, hugging his wife and uttering deep, gutteral cries. "He was always the joy of the family," his mother said.



Weihan "David" Wang and his parents, Jane Liu and Charlie Wang on family trip. Undated. 

The couple moved from Tianjng, China ten years ago, and were at a loss to put into words their feelings after losing their only child to such an unprovoked act of violence.

If not for her husband, Liu said she doesn't know if she could go on.

"I wish I could go in exchange of my son's life," she said, tears filling her eyes. "I'm just heartbroken. You just can't imagine for a mom."

Liu just doesn't know why this had to happen.

"I'm a strong mom, I'm a nurse, I'm nice to my patients," she said. "I go to my church a few times a week. I ask God, 'Why doesn't he take me instead of my son?' I don't understand why this happened to me."

 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Isla Vista Tragedy Memorials, Vigils]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 19:24:52 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/224*120/vigils+isla+vista+493689285_10+%284%291.jpg Candlelight vigils and memorial services followed the violent rampage May 23, 2014 that left seven dead in Isla Vista.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["Process of Healing" Begins After Isla Vista Rampage]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 08:24:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/uclavigil11.JPG

Students mourning six classmates killed in a violent rampage through the Southern California seaside college community of Isla Vista gathered for a candlelight vigil Monday night before a memorial service Tuesday at the University of California Santa Barbara campus stadium.

Hundreds of students from UCLA, UCSB and USC gathered at UCLA's Royce Hall to express love, sorrow, solidarity and fear after last week's killing spree.

"Walking down the streets of Isla Vista or grabbing a sandwich from a deli shop, really it's a blessing," a UCSB alumnus said at the vigil. "It really makes me feel grateful just to be doing the simplest things, because you never know what can happen and you never know when those things that you enjoy so much doing can be taken away from you."

Students and families held candles as they described the May 23 killings as a wake-up call.

"As a mother, it means a lot when you know your child is safe," said Lilibeth Forteza, whose daughter is a student at UCSB and lives above the 7-Eleven in Isla Vista, one of the crime scenes.

In Thousand Oaks, mourners wore purple Monday evening for a poolside tribute honoring 19-year-old UC Santa Barbara student Veronika Weiss, who played water polo at Westlake High School. Purple was her favorite color, friends said.

The first-year UCSB student and Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, were standing outside their sorority house Friday night when they were shot and killed -- the first shooting victims in a drive-by shooting spree through the community of student residences west of the Santa Barbara school campus.

Weiss' father said he is "sad for everyone" involved in the violence, including the gunman and his family. He described his daughter as an exceptional athlete and student.

"She had a real great mind for math and she wanted to work in the financial area," Bob Weiss said. "She couldn't wait to graduate."

UCSB classes were not in session Monday for the Memorial Day holiday and the school's chancellor announced that Tuesday has been declared a "Day of Mourning and Reflection." Classes will be canceled and a memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT at Harder Stadium.

In all, six students were were killed by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, according to authorities. The Santa Barbara City College detailed his plans to go on a murderous rampage in a written manifesto and YouTube videos posted shortly before Friday night's violence.

The candlelight vigil and memorial service marked another step in a healing process that UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang said began with a Saturday night event. The event, conducted just hours after authorities identified three victims in the shooting, was organized by students.

"This is a period of mourning for all of us," Yang said in a statement. "The moving candlelight vigil that our students organized on Saturday evening began the process of healing.

"On Tuesday we will remember and honor the victims of this horrible event, and come together as an academic community to reflect, talk with each other, and think about the future. As terrible as these past two days have been, they make us believe in our students and the entire UCSB community more than ever."

Students also are planning a memorial wall at the Pardall Center in the heart of Isla Vista. Other signs of remembrance have appeared throughout the community, including flowers stuffed into bullet holes left behind during the shootings and handwritten notes in front of the Alpha Phi sorority house, the first location at which gunfire was reported.

Classes will not be in session Tuesday, but faculty members and counselors will be on the campus for students who want to talk about the tragedy. Classes are expected to resume Wednesday.

All of the victims in Friday's killing spree were identified during the weekend. Weiss was just completing her first year of classes at UCSB. She was a Alpha Phi sorority house sister with Cooper, a student from Chino Hills.

Twenty-year-old student Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, of Los Osos, was shot and killed when the gunman pulled up outside a deli and sprayed rounds into a crowd of customers.

Three other victims -- 19-year-old George Chen, of San Jose; 20-year-old C.H., of San Jose; and 20-year-old Weihan Wang, of Fremont -- were stabbed before the shootings at an Isla Vista apartment, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department investigators said. C.H. and Chen were listed on the lease as the gunman's roommates. Investigators were trying to determine whether Wang was a roommate or was visiting the apartment.

On Monday, Wang's parents, Jinshuang "Jane" Liu and Charlie Wang said they were looking forward to having their son home soon for the summer. Wang's mother said her son was very close with the other two young men stabbed in the apartment, but did not speak much with Rodger.

Thirteen other victims suffered gunshot wounds or were injured when gunman Elliot Rodger struck them with his BMW 3 series coupe. Three remained hospitalized Monday.

The gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after a shootout with deputies, according to the sheriff's department. A family friend confirmed to NBC News Sunday that Rodger's parents rushed to Isla Vista as the killings began after discovering the troubling manifesto that outlined plans for what Rodger called "retribution."

The 100-plus-page document railed against women and detailed his plans to go on a killing spree, said family friend Simon Astaire, who is a talent agent and media adviser. After seeing the document and a YouTube video titled "Retribution," in which Rodger -- seated behind the wheel of his BMW -- vowed to get "revenge against humanity,"

Rodger's mother called her ex-husband and two raced to Isla Vista in search of their son, Astaire said. They heard about the shootings during a radio report as they traveled on the 101 Freeway.

After the shootout and a crash that brought an end to the violence, deputies found three semi-automatic handguns along with 400 unspent rounds in the car. All were purchased legally.

As for the investigation, Burbank police confirmed Monday that Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department deputies and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives personnel served a search warrant at Gun World in connection with the Isla Vista shooting. The store was closed Monday morning.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department continues to speak with shooting witnesses and acquaintances of Rodger. They also provided details about the department's contact with Rodger about one month ago when deputies questioned him at his apartment at the request of his family.

Rodger's family has disclosed their son was under the care of therapists.

"He convinced them that it was all a misunderstanding," Sheriff Bill Brown said.

Though Rodger told deputies that he was having social problems and was likely going to leave school, "he was able to convince them that he was not a threat to himself or to anyone else at the time."

Kate Larsen and Christina Cocca contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Slain UCSB Student’s Smile "Lit Up the Room"]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 06:08:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/isla+victim+katie+cooper+2+copy.jpg

Friends of a UC Santa Barbara student who was killed in the Isla Vista shooting rampage say she had a smile that "lit up the room."

Friends outside Katherine Breann Cooper’s childhood home in Chino Hills on Sunday remembered the 22-year-old senior as a popular and smart girl.

"She walked in the room with just the biggest smile on her face," said Jacob Morales, who grew up with Cooper in the same neighborhood.

Morales, who also attended Ayala High School with Cooper, said she was on the track team and active in school clubs.

Cooper’s family attended St. Paul the Apostle Catholic church in Chino Hills, said Father Mike Gilsenan. He said the tightknit community was deeply grieving over her death.

"How do you say goodbye to a 22-year-old? Just how? In the prime of her life," Gilsenan said.

Cooper was with her Delta Delta Delta sorority sister Veronika Weiss when gunman Eilliot Rodger opened fire, killing them both. Authorities say Rodger killed six people, including his roommates, in a long-planned violent spree before killing himself Friday.

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<![CDATA[Student Tried Saving Life of Victim in Isla Vista Tragedy]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 05:58:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/isla+vista+victim+christopher+michaels+martinez+copy.jpg

UC Santa Barbara sophomore Alyssa Hopper ducked and called 911 as a gunman opened fire at an Isla Vista deli Friday night, killing one of six people during a killing spree that spanned several blocks in the seaside community.

Hopper said she heard more than a dozen shots fired during the drive-by shooting.

“It turned into absolute mayhem,” said 19-year-old Hopper, who can be seen ducking down in surveillance video.

She said the store was filled with people, many fleeing through a rear exit.

"All the people who got stuck in the front were pretty much trapped right there," Hopper said.

But Hopper, who was not injured by the gunfire, stayed behind to help a victim, 20-year-old UCSB student Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez.

Attempting to save his life, Hopper made a shocking discovery.

“I was giving him CPR, looked down and recognized his face,” Hopper said. “He was the first person I met at freshman orientation.”

Michaels-Martinez died from his wounds.

Hopper returned to the deli Sunday, struggling to step inside knowing she did all she could to save Michaels-Martinez.

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<![CDATA[Suspect’s Parents Rushed to Isla Vista During Rampage]]> Thu, 29 May 2014 04:38:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/elliot-rodger-screen-grab.jpg

The parents of a man who went on a killing spree in Isla Vista rushed to the college town as the rampage began after discovering the troubling manifesto outlining their son's plans, a family friend confirmed to NBC News.

Just after 9:17 p.m. Friday, the mother of suspected gunman Elliot Rodger saw the 100-plus-page document railing against women and detailing his plans to go on a killing spree, said family friend Simon Astaire, who is a talent agent and media adviser.

After seeing the document and a YouTube video titled "Retribution," in which Rodger vowed to get "revenge against humanity," Rodger's mother, Chin Rodger, called her ex-husband and two decided to race to Isla Vista in search of their son, Astaire said. On the way there, they called authorities and agreed to meet when they arrived.

While driving up the the 101 Freeway toward Isla Vista, they heard news on the radio of a shooting near UC Santa Barbara, Astaire said. By the time the parents arrived, authorities had confirmed that the gunman was their son.

The gunfire broke out about 9:30 p.m. outside the Alpha Phi sorority house, where Rodger fatally shot two UCSB students, sheriff’s officials said. He went on to fire shots at multiple locations around the area, killing another student at a nearby deli.

Authorities say Rodger also stabbed three men to death inside his Isla Vista apartment before the shooting.

The killing spree ended when Rodger apparently took his own life during a car pursuit, officials said.

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<![CDATA[Remembering Isla Vista Victims]]> Tue, 27 May 2014 18:13:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/web-chris-martinez.jpg Six innocent people were killed when a gunman identified as 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a rampage in Isla Vista. ]]> <![CDATA[Isla Vista Gunman "Convinced" Authorities]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 11:22:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP621185310314.jpg

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Sunday that deputies were convinced that the gunman who killed six innocent people and himself during a shooting rampage in Isla Vista on Friday wasn't a threat following a welfare check at his home last month.

Concerned family members of gunman Elliot Rodger contacted mental health professionals in April, Brown said. When his agency was notified, deputies were sent to check on Rodger.

"He convinced them that it was all a misunderstanding," Brown told NBC4. Though Rodger told deputies that he was having social problems and was likely going to leave school, "he was able to convince them that he was not a threat to himself or to anyone else at the time."

On Friday, Rodger stabbed three people in his apartment and then killed three more in a killing spree that stretched for several blocks in the small beachside community.

Authorities hope to learn from the miscues between Santa Barbara County's mental health services and law enforcement to prevent tragedies like this from happening again, Brown said.

Dr. Judy Ho, a licensed clinical psychologist who did not treat Rodger, said this tragedy points to the serious flaws of expecting law enforcement and gun store owners to recognize mental health issues.

"I think they have the broad picture but they're not mental health specialists, and that's the difficult part," she said. "The system expects the police to actually have that burden, and I don't know if they're the ones who should be ultimately responsible for making that decision."

In Ventura County, the sheriff's office has spearheaded a unique program called the Crisis Intervention Team, which trains its deputies to better recognize individuals who may be in need of a mental health help when responding to welfare checks.

"It's more of a conversation, more of a lengthier interview," said Capt. Don Aguilar of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. "They're a useful resource for other deputies out there. They can call the Crisis Intervention Team out to the scene and have a little more in-depth assessment of what's going on."

The CIT program has been in place in Ventura County since 2001 and is the only one of its kind in the state, according to authorities.

“It’s a delicate balance that has to be achieved because you want to be able to intervene, you want to be able to prevent something like this,” Brown said. “You also want to encourage people to seek mental health treatment, and if you stigmatize people by placing restrictions on them... that actually serves as a deterrent for people seeking mental health treatment.”

Prior to the rampage, Rodger recounted his life in detail, dwelling on rejection by women and laying out his plans for vengeance. His plans for the rampage are detailed in the manifesto, including steps to kill people first at his apartment, then throughout Isla Vista before taking his own life.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Beachside Isla Vista Rocked by Mass Shooting]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 12:20:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/isla+vista+deli+open.jpg

In relatively quiet Santa Barbara County, the news of a mass shooting has rocked the normally quiet seaside communities and their large student community.

In Isla Vista, a seaside town known for its college parties and sunshine, residents were shocked by the lone gunman's shooting spree.

"You always think, ‘Oh, that doesn't happen to me, that doesn't happen in my town. That's always just something on the news.' But that did happen and it’s just, like, very overwhelming,” said Jeff Dolphin, roommate of 20-year-old victim Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez. “A lot of shock hasn't even settled. This morning was like a complete haze. Not a lot of sleep last night for anybody.”

An unincorporated community, it's a dense half-square-mile of mostly cheap apartments that 13,000 - out of a population of just 23,000 - students from the area’s two colleges call home.

The primary off-campus housing spot for students from UC Santa Barbara and City College of Santa Barbara, the tiny beachside town doesn’t have much of a commercial district - just a couple of pizza places, bars and cafes dotting the landscape.

Most weekend nights students wander the streets from house party to house party, red plastic cup in hand. The local sheriff’s department floods the streets with additional deputies to hand out the thousands of drinking in public citations issued each year.

It’s known as a fun place for the 18 to 24 crowd, many living on their own for the first time. In recent years, it has attracted unwanted attention after a string of sexual assaults during weekend parties and after a riot broke out after a boozy day-long festival in April.

But a gunman’s rampage Friday night took everyone by surprise.

“We heard gunshots and ducked under the table,” said Zelina Bochesa, a senior at UC Santa Barbara who was eating with friends at local staple Pizza My Heart. “A girl and her boyfriend said they were shot at, that somebody in a BMW pulled up and started shooting at people.”

When she returned home a few blocks away, Bochesa saw investigators outside her house as well.

A gunman opened fire at nine different locations throughout Isla Vista, killing six people and injuring seven others from behind the wheel of the black BMW coupe he later crashed during a gun battle with deputies. He was found dead in the car, with a gunshot wound to the head.

The suspect was identified as 22-year-old Elliot Rodger by sheriff's officials.

The man opened fire in front of the Alpha Phi sorority house, and two girls were killed on the front lawn.

He shot at the IV Deli Mart, where flowers now lay on the ground, along with blood from a victim and the towels people used to help him.

There are always added patrols of Isla Vista on the weekend, Sheriff Bill Brown said at an overnight press conference, and they were able to stop the gunman, but not before he killed six people and injured seven others.

The mass killing comes 13 years after a former UC Santa Barbara student drove his car through a crowd of people in Isla Vista, killing four. David Attias was convicted on four counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to a state mental hospital.



Photo Credit: Kate Larsen/NBC4]]>
<![CDATA[Student From SD Recounts Isla Vista Rampage Chaos]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 10:51:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/493651179.jpg

A UC Santa Barbara student from San Diego was left in disbelief after part of Friday’s deadly rampage in a Central California town place down the street from his front door in a shower of gunfire that he said “sounded like fireworks.”

John Sherman, a college sophomore and alumnus of Bonita Vista High School, was sitting at home when the commotion started.

“I heard a couple pops, and I didn't really think anything of it,” said Sherman.

But as he scrolled through his Facebook feed, he saw more and more posts about shootings in various spots around his neighborhood.

Sherman said he didn’t know what to believe until he heard about ten police vehicles drive by his house.

"So I went outside to see what was going on, and there was this huge crime scene just a couple blocks from my house,” said Sherman. “So I went down to go see what it was, and the cops were telling all of us to stay inside, so I just went back inside."

He soon learned from news reports that a gunman, identified by authorities as 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, had driven his black BMW through the streets of the small college town, opening fire at people in front of a sorority house, in a deli and along the street.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Rodger killed three people and injured several others in the shooting rampage before getting into a gunfight with deputies and crashing his car.

Rodger was found dead in his vehicle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Later, deputies discovered three additional men stabbed to death in Rodger’s apartment.

"I honestly couldn't believe it. I still can't really believe it,” said Sherman. “It's kind of one of those things that you see on TV and you never think it will actually happen to you, and then it happens.”

Another UCSB student, fourth-year Elliot Waniek, told NBC 7 he was in the school’s library when his best friend called to ask where he was.

“And he says, 'You need to stay there. There's been a shooting. My other roommate's ex-girlfriend just got shot at and she's hysterical,'" Waniek recounted.

Confused and freaked out, he went to the front of the library to ask two campus officers about the incident.

“I was like, ‘What do you mean? Like, are we on lockdown? Are you guys going to do anything?' And they were like, 'No, you can go home.' And I was like, 'Uh, what?'" said Waniek.

He opted to stay in the library for another hour and a half until he heard that police had taken those responsible into custody.

But when he tried to bike home, every way back was blocked by crime scenes.

“Literally, four or five different ways to get back to my house and I couldn't even get back,” Waniek said. “I had to cut through multiple parks and other people's houses just to get back to my home, and trying to bike as fast as I can because I don't really know what is going on.”

When he finally reached his home, he stayed glued to the news to learn what was happening. He said everyone around him essentially in lockdown, since one crime scene was just a block from his house.

Waniek told NBC 7 this is the worst incident in a hard year for UCSB.

"This whole year in general has been, you know, a terrible reputation for UCSB with the riots going on, and then there's been multiple stabbings and girls being raped,” he said.

And the “mass murder” has certainly shed a somber light on their upcoming graduation -- just three weeks away.

Neither Waniek nor Sherman said they knew any of the victims personally, but they both said everyone is still on edge in Isla Vista and at UCSB.

"I don't think anyone's every experienced anything like this in their entire lives. It's just a sad day for everybody," said Waniek.

UCSB students held a candlelight vigil Saturday night for the victims of rampage. More than 3,400 people RSVP’d to the event on Facebook.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[6 Victims of Isla Vista Killings Were UCSB Students]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 16:57:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/7AY_VO_UPDT_ISLA_VISTA_KNSD41V8_1200x675_265808963546.jpg

All six victims in the Isla Vista slayings were UC Santa Barbara students, sheriff’s officials confirmed Sunday as they identified the three men who were found dead inside the suspect’s apartment.

The three men were identified as 19-year-old George Chen of San Jose, 20-year-old C.H., also of San Jose, and 20-year-old Weihan Wang of Fremont.

Chen and C.H. were listed as tenants on the lease for the apartment with suspected gunman Elliot Rodger, officials said. Investigators were working to determine whether Wang was living at the home or visiting.

Henry Yang, the university's chancellor, said in a statement that Chen and Wang were both juniors at the college of engineering. He offered no details on C.H., citing the family's request for privacy.

"Our sense of loss is immeasurable," the chancellor said. "We are offering our full support to their families, and our thoughts and prayers are with them."

The three other students who were slain were identified Saturday as Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, of Westlake Village, Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, of Chino Hills, and Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos.

Yang said Weiss was a sophomore, Cooper was a senior and Michaels-Martinez was a junior.

Yang also said that nine of 13 people who were taken to the hospital after the rampage were UCSB students. Six of the nine were released from the hospital, he said.

Increased police patrols were ordered in Isla Vista and on campus, with the support of the UCLA and UC Irvine police departments, Yang said.

A memorial fund was set up to honor the students who lost their lives, Yang said. Contributions can be made here.

Yang declared Tuesday a "Day of Mourning and Reflection." A 4 p.m. memorial service was set to be held at Harder Stadium.

“You heart aches for the families who are all the sudden thrust into a situation like this,” said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. “It’s just particularly disturbing because of the fact that these young victims were taken in the prime of their lives.”

Rodger, 22, allegedly plowed through Isla Vista streets on Friday while shooting at nighttime crowds. Seven people, including Rodger, were killed in the rampage.

“There was no stopping him,” said Rodger’s neighbor, who did not want to be identified. “He was a very, very troubled kid. He was going to go through with it.”

Prior to the shooting, Rodger had posted videos to Youtube promising “retribution” and “revenge against humanity.” Family members were aware of the videos and alerted authorities, but after a mental health check less than a month before the rampage, they determined that he didn’t pose a threat.

“This has been the most significant single crime that I’ve ever been connected with in any fashion,” Brown said. “It was just a senseless and tragic rampage.”

Brown said during a press conference Saturday afternoon that investigators found three handguns and 400 rounds of ammunition inside Rodger's BMW following the rampage.

The mass killing comes about 13 years after a former UC Santa Barbara student drove his car through a crowd of people in Isla Vista, killing four. David Attias was convicted on four counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to a state mental hospital.

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<![CDATA[Vigil for Victims of Isla Vista Killings]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 06:00:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/vigil-isla-vista.jpg

Thousands of UC Santa Barbara students and community members marched in silence Saturday night from the campus to a park in Isla Vista, where a candlelight vigil was being held for the victims of a mass shooting that rocked the seaside town.

At least three innocent UCSB students lost their lives in the killing spree that stretched for several blocks, including 20-year-old Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, who was at a deli when gunfire sprayed the crowd.

"You always think, ‘Oh, that doesn't happen to me, that doesn't happen in my town. That's always just something on the news.' But that did happen and it’s just, like, very overwhelming,” said Jeff Dolphin, Michaels-Martinez’s roommate. “A lot of shock hasn't even settled. This morning was like a complete haze. Not a lot of sleep last night for anybody.”

Dolphin remembered Michaels-Martinez as a great writer who always helped him edit essays.

"He helped me out a lot, and he was just a great guy," Dolphin said.

Away from the vigil, a group of fraternity brothers wept as they dropped off flowers outside the Alpha Phi sorority house, where two other UCSB students - Katherine Cooper, 22, and Veronika Weiss, 19 - were shot to death.

“Isla Vista has experienced a tragic loss and the community is shaken,” organizers posted on Facebook. “This is a time to reflect on, honor, and celebrate the lives of those we have lost.”

The vigil featured speakers, an open mic and performers.

Elliot Rodger is suspected of stabbing three people to death at his apartment before killing three other people in shootings across Isla Vista on Friday. Rodger was later involved in a shootout with sheriff's deputies and died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

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<![CDATA[Deputies Visited Gunman Month Before Slayings]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 10:30:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/elliot-rodger-screen-grab.jpg

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s officials said a man who embarked on a killing spree that left seven people dead and several others hurt in Isla Vista had three prior run-ins with authorities, including a mental health check at his home less than a month before the murderous rampage.

At the request of a family member, deputies went to the home of Elliot Rodger, 22, on April 30 to check on his mental state, according to Sheriff Bill Brown. Deputies said Roger was “polite” and “shy,” and downplayed concerns over his well-being. Deputies cleared the call.

“He did not meet the criteria for 5150,” said Brown, referring to the code for an involuntarily psychiatric hold.

On Jan. 15, Rodgers contacted authorities and accused his roommate of stealing three candles valued at $22. Brown said Rodger made a citizen’s arrest and the roommate was booked, cited and released. The case was sent to the district attorney’s office, where a petty theft charge was filed.

On July 21, 2013, authorities met with Rodger at a hospital, where he was being treated for injuries. Rodger claimed to be the victim of an assault, but a police officer who handled that incident said Rodger may have been the aggressor. No charges were filed.

Rodger is suspected of stabbing three people to death at his apartment before killing three other people in shootings across Isla Vista on Friday, May 23. Rodger was later involved in a shootout with sheriff's deputies and died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Brown said.

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<![CDATA[Killer Detailed Plans in Manifesto]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 12:45:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/mass+shooting.jpg

The road to rampage for the suspected gunman in Friday’s deadly shooting spree at a California college town began in childhood when he started building a mental list of each perceived slight he suffered, according to a manifesto he left behind.

In a winding written message, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger recounted his life in detail, dwelling on his rejection by women beginning in early adolescence, and laid out his plans to exact revenge on the world in a devastating attack.

“Women’s rejection of me is a declaration of war, and if it’s war they want, then war they shall have. It will be a war that will result in their complete and utter annihilation,” he wrote in the 137 page document.

Santa Barbara Sheriff-Coroner Bill Brown said Saturday it was "apparently" written by the suspected gunman and noted the letter, coupled with a video manifesto posted to YouTube 10 hours before the shooting spree, demonstrated the "severe extent of how disturbed Mr. Rodger was."

The Sheriff's office later said in a release that the manifesto was written by Rodger and that they are reviewing it.

In the document, Rodger recalled being pushed by a girl at camp for accidentally running into her in the summer before 6th grade. As a high schooler, he said he was bullied and teased and called names by boys who were bigger than him, and he was paid little attention by girls.

His anger at that lack of attention grew. Late in the part-autobiography, part-mission statement, Rodger wrote that he wants to "dump girls into boiling water" and "strip their skin off alive."

His thoughts in the months before the shooting spree give chilling insight into a man who came to align his self-worth with his awkwardness with women; falling into greater despair as each month came and went without losing his virginity, which, according to the manifesto, became an obsession.

Yet while he professes to be wanted and loved, he in turn directs much of his anger at women, who he feels have rejected him as a whole.

He talked of being jealous of people in relationships, and how a simple visit to The Commons mall in his hometown of Calabasas was marred by this angst.

“There I would see all of the young couples lining up to see a movie, and I boiled with hatred,” he wrote. “I treaded through the area with my head down, all alone, in a state of complete despair about my life.”

At one point he turned to thoughts of money, writing about his obsession with the lottery and about the time he threw a “wild tantrum” because a man from Riverside won instead of him. He became so obsessed that he sometimes drove through the night to Arizona to buy Mega Millions.

“I never thought nor cared about money before I turned 18, because I was still living like a child, with my parents handling the money and giving me the things I needed,” he said. “However, the more older I grew, the more I realized how important money was, and the more obsessed I would become about getting rich.”

Rodger thought of himself as “sophisticated” and “refined” and didn’t understand why women were attracted to “brutish” men - an outlook that apparently intensified when he moved to the frat-party world of Isla Vista.

He hoped the move north, where he would attend Santa Barbara City College, would open new doors and make him happy. But it failed to meet his expectations.

“The more I explored my college town of Isla Vista, the more ridiculousness I witnessed. All of the hot, beautiful girls walked around with obnoxious, tough jock-type men who partied all the time and acted crazy. They should be going for intelligent gentlemen such as myself,” he said.

He details how on New Year’s Day he hatched his plan for a “Day of Retribution,” and picked a day for it to happen.

Rodger writes about preparing for his rampage in horrifying detail, including the steps he would take to murder people first at his apartment, then throughout Isla Vista before taking his own life.

He concludes with several pages explaining his dystopic wishes for the world.

“I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this. I didn’t start this war. I wasn’t the one who struck first. But I will finish it by striking back. I will punish everyone. And it will be beautiful. Finally, at long last, I can show the world my true worth.”



Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Isla Vista Rampage Victims ID'd]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 17:02:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/weiss1.jpg

Six UC Santa Barbara students who were slain in a stabbing and shooting spree by a lone gunman in Isla Vista on Friday night have been identified.

Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez: A grieving father identified his 20-year-old son as a victim in in the shooting. Michaels-Martinez was from Los Osos. He was killed by the gunman at a deli.

Veronika Elizabeth Weiss: Weiss, of Westlake Village and a graduate of Westlake High School, was in her first year at UCSB. She was 19. Weiss was struck by gunfire outside a sorority house.

Katherine Breann Cooper: Cooper was a 22-year-old UCSB student from Chino Hills. She and Weiss were sorority sisters. Cooper was also shot to death outside the sorority house.

George Chen: The 19-year-old UCSB student was from San Jose. He was listed on the lease for the apartment in which he was found stabbed to death, sheriff's officials said.

C.H.: C.H. was 20 and also a UCSB student from San Jose. Officials said he was also listed on the apartment lease. He was also fatally stabbed at the apartment. His parents requested he only be named by his initials.

Weihan Wang: Investigators are trying to determine whether the 20-year-old UCSB student was also a roommate or visiting the apartment. He was from Fremont. His body was found with stab wounds inside the apartment.

The gunman, identified as 22-year-old Elliot Oliver Robertson Rodger of Isla Vista, died of a gunshot wound to the head after a gun battle with deputies, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.

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<![CDATA[Shooting Victim's Father Rails Against NRA]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 10:28:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP726478900400.jpg

A grieving father identified his 20-year-old son as a victim in Friday’s mass shooting in Isla Vista and said his son died because of "irresponsible politicians and the NRA," according to NBC News.

Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez was inside the IV Deli Market when a man identified as Elliot Rodger, 22, drove up in a black BMW and sprayed bullets into the crowd.

A childhood photo of Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez was handed to reporters during a news conference at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Saturday afternoon.

His father, Richard Martinez, stepped up to the podium during the media briefing and told reporters, "Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights, but what about Chris' right to live? When will this insanity stop?"

He added: "When will enough people say, 'Stop this madness. We don't have to have live like this.' Too many have died."

Martinez went on to say that his son had a high GPA and was a volunteer at the university.

"He was really loved by a lot of people," Martinez said.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown confirmed Elliot Rodger bought three handguns legally and that all of them were registered. They were bought in Burbank, Oxnard and Goleta, he said. 

 

 

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Transcription: Video Details Plan for "Retribution"]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 12:45:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/shooting+santa+barbara+isla+vista+rampage+GUNMAN+elliot+rodger.jpg

The following has been transcribed from a video posted to YouTube before a shooting in the Southern California community of Isla Vista that left seven people dead. The speaker seated in a vehicle identifies himself as Elliot Rodger, who is believed by his family to be the gunman, an attorney for the man's father told NBC News.

Transcription begins here:

Hi, Elliot Rodger here.

Well, this is my last video, it all has to come to this. Tomorrow is the day of retribution. The day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you.

For the last eight years of my life, ever 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, but never to me. I'm 22 years old and still a virgin, I've never even kissed a girl, I've been through college for 2 1/2 years, more than that actually, and 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 injustice, a crime, because I don't know what you don't see in me, I'm the perfect guy, and yet you throw yourself at these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentlemen. I will punish all of you for it.

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

I'll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male. After I've 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 for all these years. They've all looked down upon me every time I tried to go out and 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. And 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 than me. All you popular kids, you've never accepted me. And now you'll all pay for it.

Girls, all I've ever wanted was to love you and to be loved by you. I've wanted a girlfriend. I've wanted sex, I've wanted love, affection, adoration. You think I'm unworthy of it. That's a crime that can never be forgiven.

If I can't have you, girls, I will destroy you. 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, and so I will show you none.

You forced me to suffer all my life, and I will make you all suffer. I've waited a long time for this. I'll give you exactly what you deserve. All of you, all you girls who rejected me and looked down upon me and 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. Utter annihilation.

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<![CDATA[Westlake High Grad Among Victims of Rampage]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 03:56:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP763666990773.jpg

Family and friends said a Westlake High School graduate was among the seven people killed during a shooting rampage in Isla Vista Friday night.

Veronika Weiss, 19, was in her first year at the University of California Santa Barbara. She was a member of the Westlake girls water polo team while in high school.

"The first time I met her she seemed super nice, really lovely girl. Really smart, too," said Cole Cassidy, who knew Weiss.

People were taking to social media to express their grief.

“My heart goes out to the family of Veronika Weiss. Veronika was a Westlake graduate killed in yesterday's UCSB shooting. Rest in peace," wrote Chad Scott on Twitter.

The gunfire erupted just before 9:30 p.m. in the town known for rowdy parties and a raucous weekend scene. The gunman shot victims while he was inside his car, a black BMW 3 series coupe, according to witness and sheriff's department accounts.

Nine crime scene locations were confirmed across Isla Vista, but no shots were fired on the university's campus, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. At one point, the black BMW stopped outside a popular deli before rapid gunfire sprayed into the crowd.

The gunman -- identified by an attorney for his father as Elliot Rodger -- was later involved in at least one shootout with sheriff's deputies and died of a gunshot wound to the head, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a Saturday morning news conference. He could not confirm whether the gunshot was self-inflicted and the department had not released the identity of the gunman by Saturday afternoon.

NBC4's Reggie Kumar contributed to this report



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Attorney: Isla Vista Shooter Believed to be Director's Son]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 03:56:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/shooting+santa+barbara+isla+vista+rampage+GUNMAN+elliot+rodger.jpg

A Hollywood director believes his son, Elliot Rodger, was the gunman in a shooting rampage at a Southern California college town that left seven people dead and several others injured Friday night, a family attorney said.

Attorney Alan Shifman told NBC News that the family of Peter Rodger, an assistant director on "The Hunger Games" film series, has not yet gone to Santa Barbara to identify his remains. The family is cooperating wih police and investigators, Shifman said.

Shifman also confirmed that family members were aware of and had contacted authorities several weeks ago about disturbing videos Rodger had posted to YouTube. In a video posted on YouTube On Friday,  a man who identifies himself as Elliot Rodger details plans for "retribution." Those plans included shooting women at a UC Santa Barbara sorority house.

Shifman told the Associated Press that police interviewed Rodger before the shooting and found him to be a "perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human."

Seven people are dead, including Rodger, and seven were injured after the rampage that ended with at least one shootout with Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department deputies and a crash. Rodger was found dead in the black BMW, according to authorities, from which witnesses said a spray of bullets was fired at nine locations.

A semi-automatic gun was recovered from the vehicle, authorities said.

Sheriff's department personnel are investigating a video in which a man identified as Rodger sits in a car, detailing plans for "retribution" and "revenge against humanity" prior to the shooting.

"I'll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one, the true alpha male," the man identified as Rodger says in the video.

The mass killing comes 13 years after a former UC Santa Barbara student drove his car through a crowd of people in Isla Vista, killing four. David Attias was convicted on four counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to a state mental hospital.

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<![CDATA[As Shooting Unfolded, Witnesses' Reactions]]> Sat, 24 May 2014 13:56:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/201*120/islavistatwitter2.JPG

 A gunman and six others were killed and seven more injured when a man driving a BMW went on a shooting rampage in Isla Vista near the University of California, Santa Barbara Friday night, officials said.

As the shooting unfolded -- at as many as nine different scenes, according to police -- witnesses in the coastal college town posted warnings, prayers and pictures to social media.


 

 

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<![CDATA[Timeline: Isla Vista Mass Killings]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 11:24:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP964951589012.jpg

Seven people were killed and seven more injured when a man identified by authorities as Elliot Rodger attacked three people at an apartment before opening fire in the college town of Isla Vista near the University of California, Santa Barbara, Friday night.

An approximate look at how the events unfolded:

Prior to Shooting Rampage

Date Undetermined: Three victims are stabbed in the residence of Elliot Rodger, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. The male victims were stabbed with sharp object in what the sheriff called an "horrific crime scene."

Friday, May 23, 2014

9:27 p.m.Reports of shots fired in the Isla Vista area were called in to the Santa Barbara County Emergency Communications Center. Two gunshot victims are killed outside a sorority house.

9:30 p.m.: Additional reports of shots fired in several other areas of Isla Vista; suspect’s vehicle description broadcast to law enforcement in the area. A third shooting victim is shot and killed outside a deli, where Rodger exited the car and fired several rounds.

9:33 p.m.: Suspect fires shots at deputies. Deputies fire back. Suspect flees.

9:34 p.m.: Another deputy sees suspect. The suspect and deputy exchange gunfire. Suspect flees down Del Playa Drive.

9:37 p.m.: Suspect crashes into parked vehicle. Deputies approach vehicle and find suspect dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

2:40 a.m.: Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown holds press conference and confirms that seven people were killed, including the suspect, and seven more injured at a total of nine different crime scenes.

5 p.m.: Brown announces the discovery of the three stabbing victims at Rodger's apartment. The bodies were discovered when deputies investigating the Friday night shootings went to the apartment. He also reveals that three handguns and 400 rounds of ammunition were found in Rodger's car.

11 p.m.: The sheriff's office identifies three UC Santa Barbara students among the dead. They are: Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, of Westlake Village, Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, of Chino Hills, and Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

4 p.m.: The three men found stabbed dead inside Rodger's apartment were identified as 19-year-old George Chen of San Jose, 20-year-old C.H., also of San Jose, and 20-year-old Weihan Wang of Fremont. All three were UC Santa Barbara students.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Shooting Rampage: Self-Made Video Threatened "Retribution"]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 03:57:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP931773035884.jpg

The day before the devastating shooting rampage in Isla Vista left seven people dead, the gunman, identified as Elliot Rodger by the attorney for his father, posted a video to YouTube threatening "retribution" for being ignored by women and pledging to take revenge by killing members of a UC Santa Barbara sorority.

Sheriff's department personnel are investigating the video in which a man who identifies himself as Rodger, a 22-year-old Santa Barbara City College student, details plans for "revenge against humanity" prior to the shooting.

"I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you," he says. "You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male."

The sinister tirade contrasts sharply with the setting. The man in the video delivers his nearly-seven-minute screed against a backdrop of blue sky and palm trees while seated in what looks to be the leather-covered driver’s seat of a high-end sedan, his face bathed in warm sunlight.

His delivery is calm and deliberate, moving seamlessly between what sounds like an extreme case of post-adolescent angst, detailing the pain of being rejected by women, and horrific, brutal threats.

"Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men, but never to me," he says. "I’m 22 years old and still a virgin, I’ve never even kissed a girl. I’ve been through college for 2 ½ years, more than that actually, and 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."

His message then moves on to threats.

“If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you,” he says. He pledges to enter a sorority house, kill all of the women inside and then “take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there.”

He rants about still being a virgin, and blames women for choosing to have sex with “brutish” men instead of him.

“You girls have never been attracted to me. I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me," he says. "But I will punish you all for it.”

Nine videos were posted to the account in the day before the shooting rampage, nearly all with the theme of anger against women for lack of interest in him as a romantic partner.

Six victims were killed, plus the gunman, and seven more injured when a gunman in a black BMW opened fire in the college town of Isla Vista near the University of California, Santa Barbara Friday night. Approximately 10 minutes passed between the time officials received the first 911 call and the time deputies found the gunman dead.

According to witnesses, the man fired out of the window of his BMW coupe at several groups of people. Seven people were killed and seven others injured at nine different crime scenes, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

The gunman was found dead inside the crashed BMW, but it is not immediately clear if he was killed by a sheriff's deputy or a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Isla Vista Rampage]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 10:21:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP806857982069.jpg A gunman opened fire in the college town of Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara on Friday May 23, 2014, killing six others and wounding seven more.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Witness: Drive-By Gunman Fired Into Crowd Outside Deli]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 12:06:12 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP964951589012.jpg

Witness accounts of a drive-by shooting rampage in a college town near UC Santa Barbara portray a path of random violence at about nine locations that sent people running for cover in nearby businesses and residences Friday night.

One witness was waiting on a corner outside a deli in the community of Isla Vista, a Southern California seaside town about 10 miles west of Santa Barbara, when he heard what sounded like a car backfiring. The driver of a new model black BMW then stopped in front of IV Deli Mart and sprayed several rounds into the crowd.

"I heard somewhere between 12 to 20 shots into a group of people who were eating in front of it," witness Robert Johnson said.

The crowd ran into the building as what the witness described as "consecutive gunfire" continued from the car. Flowers and candles were placed outside the IV Deli Mart -- where bullets shattered several windows -- early Saturday as a memorial to the victims.

The driver continued down the street and opened fire at other locations, killing three people after having earlier killed three, in what the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department called a "mass murder." An attorney for Hollywood director Peter Rodger later said the family believes their son, Santa Barbara City College student Elliot Rodger, was the gunman.

The deceased gunman, identified Saturday evening by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department as Rodger, exchanged gunfire with deputies, but authorities could not confirm late Friday whether the fatal gunshot wound were self-inflicted. Four handguns and about 400 rounds of ammunition were recovered in the vehicle, according to the sheriff's department.

The shooting rampage occurred after he stabbed three male victims to death at his apartment, authorities said Saturday evening. The victims' bodies were found during the shooting investigation and authorities did not immediately have details regarding the time of the stabbing.

Jimmy Chang, a reporter for the UCSB newspaper and senior at the school, said he spoke with a female student who said the gunman opened fire on her as she was walking on an Isla Vista street.

"He actually drove across street to meet her," Chang said, repeating the witness' account. "The guy stuck his head out and says, 'Hey, what are you doing,' She ignored him, thinking he was just the 'typical, Isla Vista douche bag.' The guy pulled out a gun and shot at her. The bullet missed her head. She said she thought it was a BB gun, and she just kept walking faster."

The witness told Chang the man shot and missed again before she ran into a house for shelter. The woman said she did not know the gunman, Chang said.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department officials said they have "obtained and are currently analyzing both written and video" evidence. The evidence suggests "this atrocity was a pre-meditated mass murder," said Sheriff Bill Brown.

Sheriff's department personnel are investigating a video in which a man who identifies himself as Rodger details plans for "retribution" and "revenge against humanity" prior to the shooting.

Seven people remained hospitalized Saturday morning. Details regarding their conditions were not immediately available.

The mass killing comes about 13 years after a former UC Santa Barbara student drove his car through a crowd of people in Isla Vista, killing four. David Attias was convicted on four counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to a state mental hospital.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[California Mass Slayings]]> Sat, 24 May 2014 13:20:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/201*120/shooting+santa+barbara+isla+vista+rampage.jpg A history of mass killings in California. ]]> <![CDATA[Self-Made Video Part of Shooting Investigation]]> Sat, 24 May 2014 10:26:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/webshootermanifestomay24_1200x675_265094723984.jpg Sheriff's department personnel are investigating a video in which a man who identifies himself as Elliot Rodger details plans for "retribution" and "revenge against humanity" prior to the shooting. The video was posted prior to a shooting rampage in Isla Vista, California on Friday May 23, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[7 Dead in "Mass Murder" Rampage Near UC Santa Barbara]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 09:39:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP637645965203.jpg

A man stabbed three people to death at his apartment before plowing through the streets in a black BMW and spraying bullets into Friday night crowds, leaving seven people dead and several more injured in the Southern California seaside town of Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara, authorities said.

The gunman, identified as 22-year-old Elliot Oliver Robertson Rodger of Isla Vista, was later involved in a shootout with sheriff's deputies and died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a Saturday evening news conference.

Three victims, all of whom were UCSB students, were identified as 22-year-old Katherine Breann Cooper of Chino Hills, 19-year-old Veronika Weiss of Westlake Village and 20-year-old Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez of Los Osos. The names of the three other victims were not released, pending notification of next of kin.

Thirteen people were hurt, sheriff's officials said. Four were apparently injured by the suspect’s car, eight were wounded by gunfire and one suffered a minor injury from an "unknown origin." Of the seven people hospitalized, one was in serious condition, officials said.

An attorney for the suspect's father – "Hunger Games" assistant director Peter Rodger – later confirmed to NBC News that Rodger, a Santa Barbara City College student, was the gunman.

The family has not visited Santa Barbara to identify the remains, the attorney said, adding that the family is cooperating with investigators.

Sheriff's department personnel are investigating a YouTube video in which a man identified as Rodger sits in a car, detailing plans for "retribution" and "revenge against humanity" prior to the shooting.

"I'll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one, the true alpha male," the man identified as Rodger says in the video.

Ten crime scene locations were confirmed across Isla Vista, a town known for rowdy parties and a raucous weekend scene. No shots were fired on the university's campus, Brown said.

The killings began when Rodger allegedly stabbed three men to death inside his residence in the 6500 block of Seville Road, where Brown said deputies discovered a "horrific crime scene."

Rodger then went to the Alpha Phi sorority house in the 800 block of Embarcadero Del Norte, where he banged on the door, Brown said. When no one answered, Rodger opened fire outside the home, killing Cooper and Weiss. A third person was wounded.

Minutes later, Rodger pulled up in his black BMW 3 series coupe at a popular deli on Pardall Road. He entered the business and fatally shot Michaels-Martinez.

Surveillance video from inside the deli showed customers running for cover as shots rang out.

"I heard somewhere between 12 to 20 shots into a group of people who were eating in front of it," witness Robert Johnson said.

Approximately six minutes after the initial call was received, the driver shot at responding deputies and deputies returned gunfire. The driver fled in his vehicle, encountered another deputy, exchanged gunfire and fled again. 

The driver eventually crashed into a parked vehicle. When deputies approached the vehicle, they found the lone occupant dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

About 10 minutes passed between the time officials received the first 911 call to the time the suspect was determined to be dead at the scene, Brown said. 

Officials believe the gunman acted alone and were not looking for any additional suspects.

Brown said three semi-automatic handguns Rodger had during his shooting rampage were legally obtained and registered to him. They were purchased in Burbank, Oxnard and Goleta.

Investigators said they found more than 400 remaining rounds of ammunition.

Along with the YouTube video, Rodger apparently detailed his plans in a 140-page manifesto where he recounted his life in detail, dwelling on his rejection by women beginning in early adolescence, and laid out his plans to exact revenge on the world in a devastating attack.

"(We are) analyzing both written and video taped evidence that suggest this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder," Brown said. 

Residents took to social media to report multiple drive-by shootings and a hit-and-run, and also to post prayers. One woman said she saw a man with a gun and heard shots being fired immediately after seeing him.

Isla Vista residents were urged to stay indoors. 

"It's obviously a heartbreaking situation to see this happen," Brown said.

The mass killing comes about 13 years after a former UC Santa Barbara student drove his car through a crowd of people in Isla Vista, killing four. David Attias was convicted on four counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to a state mental hospital.

Anyone who witnessed the crime or has any information is asked to call the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office at 805-681-4171.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd, Willian Avila and Jane Yamamoto contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Barbara Mass Shooting Leaves 7 Dead]]> Sat, 24 May 2014 10:05:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/webjaneIVshooting7_1200x675_265074243537.jpg A gunman opened fire in Isla Vista, leaving 7 dead and 7 injured. Jane Yamamoto reports live from Santa Barbara for Today in LA on Saturday, May 24, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Witness: Gunman Shot "12 to 20" Times Into Crowd at Deli]]> Sat, 24 May 2014 07:27:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/web_robert_johsnon_1200x675_265039427798.jpg Witness Robert Johnson describes the scene outside an Isla Vista deli when a drive-by gunman opened fire into the crowd. Video from Saturday May 24, 2014. ]]> <![CDATA[Woman Ran From Drive-By Gunfire]]> Sat, 24 May 2014 07:47:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/web_sb_shooter_jimmy_chang_1_1200x675_265045571671.jpg A reporter with the UCSB student newspaper describes a witness account of coming face-to-face with a gunman who went on a shooting rampage Friday May 24, 2014 in Isla Vista. Video from May 25, 2014.]]>