Chief says Santa Monica Killings were Premeditated - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Chief says Santa Monica Killings were Premeditated

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Santa Monica, CA -

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) - The gunman who went on a chaotic rampage killing four people before being fatally shot by police at a college campus planned the attack and was capable of firing 1,300 rounds of ammunition, the police chief said Saturday.

"Any time someone puts on a vest, of some sort, comes out with a bag full of loaded magazines, has an extra receiver, has a handgun and has a semi-automatic rifle, carjacks folks, goes to a college, kills more people and has to be neutralized at the hands of the police, I would say that that's premeditated," said Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks.

The killer would have turned 24 on Saturday, but Seabrooks wouldn't identify him because his next of kin was out of the country. Police had an encounter with him seven years ago, but she wouldn't elaborate because he was a juvenile at the time.

The chief spoke near a display of weapons and ammo recovered from Santa Monica College where the killings ended Friday when police gunned him down in the library, where students were studying for finals.

Among items on display were surveillance photos of a man in black entering the library with an assault-style rifle by his side.

The gunman fatally shot one woman in the head outside the library before entering the building and opening fire as students ran for cover.

Students hid into what Seabrooks called a "safe room" in the library and barricaded the door for safety.

"They stacked items found in the safe room against the door, hunkered down and avoided shots fired through the drywall at them while they were in that room," she said.

The violence, which lasted little more than 10 minutes, started about a mile away when the gunman began shooting at a house, and it caught on fire. Two bodies were later found inside.

Two officials told The Associated Press that the killings began as a domestic violence incident and the victims in the home were the gunman's father and brother. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the case.

As flames rose from the house, the man, wearing what appeared to be a ballistic jacket, he shot a woman passing by in a car and carjacked another woman at gunpoint. He directed her to drive to the college campus, having her stop so he could shoot along the way, police said.

He fired on a city bus where three women were left with minor injuries. One had shrapnel-type injuries and the two others had injuries not related to gunfire. They were treated at a hospital and released.

The gunman also fired on police cars, bystanders and pedestrians, police said.

From there, the chaos shifted to the college, a two-year school with about 34,000 students located among homes and strip malls more than a mile inland from the city's famous pier, promenade and expansive, sandy beaches.

In a faculty parking lot on the edge of campus, he fired on two people in a red Ford Explorer that crashed through a block wall. The driver was killed, police said, and a passenger was in critical condition after undergoing surgery UCLA Medical Center, doctors said. On Saturday, authorities identified the driver as Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, of West Los Angeles, who worked at the school.

College employee Joe Orcutt was in the lot and said the gunman looked calm and composed as he fired at him. Orcutt jumped out of the way.

"He's just standing there, like he's modeling for some ammo magazine," Orcutt said, "seeing who he could shoot, one bullet at a time, like target practice."

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A man with a semi-automatic rifle killed at least four people and wounded several others Friday as he carried out a deadly rampage across several blocks of a normally idyllic beachfront city before police shot him dead in the Santa Monica College Library.

Police said earlier that seven people were killed, including the gunman.

The violence began when the gunman, dressed in all black and wearing what appeared to be a ballistic jacket, opened fire on a house where the bodies of the gunman's father and brother were found, authorities said.

As the house burst into flames, the man wounded a woman in a car before moving toward the campus, spraying bullets as he went. Police said he opened fire on a city bus, a police car and other vehicles, as well as bystanders and pedestrians.

He killed three people on the street before shooting at an SUV leaving a campus parking lot. That vehicle's driver was killed and two passengers were wounded as the car crashed through a block wall.

From there, the gunman entered the campus, shooting a woman as he made his way toward the college's library, where students were studying for final exams.

"It appears that those who were encountered on the street were random victims," Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said.

"We saw a woman get shot in the head," said administrative assistant Trena Johnson, who looked out the window of the dean's office, where she works, when she heard gunfire. "I haven't been able to stop shaking," she said.

Inside the library, students reported hearing gunfire and screams.

"I was totally scared to death and I can't believe it happened so fast," said Vincent Zhang, a 20-year-old economics major who said he heard a woman pleading, "No, no. Please, no."

The gunman continued to shoot at people in the library, Seabrooks said, but apparently didn't hit anybody there as dozens ran for the exits.

"The officers came in and directly engaged the suspect and he was shot and killed on the scene," she said.

Just 3 miles away, President Barack Obama was attending a fundraising luncheon. Secret Service spokesman Max Milien said the agency was aware of the shooting, which began just before noon, but it had no impact on the president's event.

The president was scheduled to take Marine One to the airport, but traveled by motorcade to avoid any impact on the ongoing local response to the shooting.

After the gunman was killed, police wearing helmets and armed with shotguns and rifles searched the campus for a second shooter. A man dressed entirely in black, the words "Life is a Gamble" on the back of his sweatshirt, was seen being led away in handcuffs.

Sgt. Richard Lewis, a Santa Monica police spokesman, said at a news conference Friday night that investigators had released a man who had been detained and questioned as a "person of interest."

The identities of the man detained and those who were killed were not immediately released.

Two officials briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press the two victims in the burned house were the gunman's father and brother.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the case.

Two women were admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, said Dr. Marshall Morgan, the chief of emergency medicine. One was listed in critical condition after undergoing surgery. The other arrived in serious condition but was upgraded to fair condition Friday night.

Three other women went to UCLA Medical Center Santa Monica with relatively minor injuries, Morgan said. One had shrapnel-type injuries and the two others had injuries not related to gunfire, he said. All were treated and released.

Jerry Cunningham Rathner, who lives near the house that caught fire, said she heard gunshots and came out onto her porch to see a man shooting at the residence. Soon, the building erupted in flames and was billowing smoke.

The gunman, dressed in black and wearing an ammunition belt, pointed a rifle at a woman in a car and told her to pull over, Cunningham Rathner said. He then signaled to a second car, also driven by a woman, to slow down and began firing into the vehicle.

"He fired three to four shots into the car -- boom, boom, boom, right at her," said Cunningham Rathner, who went to the woman's aid and saw she was wounded in the shoulder.

She said the gunman then abducted the woman in the first car and drove away.

From there, the chaos shifted to Santa Monica College, located among homes and strip malls more than a mile inland from the city's famous Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade and its expansive, sandy beaches.

The two-year college, spread out across 38 acres, has about 34,000 students.

Jimes Gillespie, 20, told The Associated Press he was in the library studying when he heard gunfire, and he and dozens of other students began fleeing the three-story building.

"As I was running down the stairs I saw one of the gunmen," said Gillespie, who described the shooter as a white man in his 20s, wearing cornrows in his hair and black overalls.

As he ran across campus, he said he saw a car in front of the English building that was riddled with bullet holes, had shattered windows and a baby's car seat in the back.

Student Noke Taumalolo told Fox News that he saw a female worker sorting recycling cans lying bloody on the ground with the gunman standing over her.  According to the student, the gunman was wearing black tactical gear including a vest, SWAT-like fatigues and a riot helmet.

In a staff parking lot, college employee Joe Orcutt said he saw the gunman standing calmly with his weapon, looking as though he was trying to determine which people to shoot at.

"I turn around and that's when he's just standing there, like he's modeling for some ammo magazine," Orcutt said. "He was very calm just standing there, panning around, seeing who he could shoot, one bullet at a time, like target practice.


Update From Santa Monica City College:

According to Santa Monica College, all activities on the main campus have been canceled for the weekend in response to today's shootings. All activities on the campus will be rescheduled. Students are asked to wait for confirmation from instructors about final exam schedules. Normal campus activities are expected to resume Monday.

Counseling services will be available for students and employees at SMC's Bundy campus on the second floor until 9 p.m. tonight and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Counseling services will be available on the main campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.




RELATED LINKS:
Doctors from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center are asking for the community's help in replenishing their blood supply. PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE and help spread the word to get donors: http://rdcrss.org/13LYUs7

This may be the photo of the suspect, which looks to be a person dead on the street in front of the Santa Monica College sign (WARNING: GRAPHIC) https://twitter.com/evanlgeorge/status/343113728985821184/photo/1
 
Santa Monica College is offering up a 24-hour support hotline. Please call 866-315-7370. More information on Santa Monica College's website: http://www.smc.edu/Pages/Emergency-Update.aspx

Here are links to short videos of house fire nearby uploaded by Twitter user @reidspeed.

https://vine.co/v/bLJwAKQ9OTQ

https://vine.co/v/bLJXYtrdq22

https://vine.co/v/bLJXU5miLBi




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