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.
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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.
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"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.
- Timeline: Isla Vista Mass Shooting
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.