Seven Dead in Drive-By Shooting Near UC Santa Barbara
Authorities report that a gunman and six others were killed, with seven more injured, when a shooter opened fire in the college town of Isla Vista near the University of California, Santa Barbara on Friday night.
UPDATE: The family of 22-year-old Elliot Rodger is confirming with authorities that he was seeking psychiatric treatment as authorities identify him officially as the shooter.
The names of the victims and the suspect have not been released, but Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown confirmed that written and video material left by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger of Calabasas is being reviewed as evidence in the massacre and appears to be connected.
In an extremely disturbing YouTube video titled "Elliot Rodger's Retribution," Rodger describes his planned assault and speaks about his life of "loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires." (The video is still available for now, but will almost certainly be taken down.)
The gunfire started just before 9:30 PM, at which point the gunman began to shoot victims while inside his black BMW. Sheriff Brown reported in a news conference this morning that the shootings occurred in several sites, resulting in nine crime scenes. The suspect exchanged gunfire with responding deputies until he eventually crashed into a parked vehicle.
Brown confirmed that the suspected gunman died of a gunshot wound to the head, though it was not immediately clear if he was killed by deputy gunfire or if he committed suicide.
A student told KEYT-TV that she was approached by the driver of the black BMW who flashed a small black handgun and asked "Hey, what's up?" She thought it was an airsoft gun and kept walking, quickly realizing that it was not when she felt a bullet fly by her head. A semiautomatic handgun was recovered from the scene.
UPDATE: Here is footage of the alleged shooter's confession.
UPDATE 1:56 pm: Elliot Rodger's family has confirmed his identity and said that he was receiving psychiatric treatment. From the BBC:
The lawyer for the alleged gunman's father, Peter Rodger, said his son was diagnosed with "highly functional Asperger's syndrome" as a child.
His mother contacted the police and a social worker after a YouTube video was posted recently, the lawyer added.
UPDATE 5:19 pm: Alan Shifman, the lawyer who represents Rodger's father, Peter, issued a statement on behalf of the Rodgers family.
"On behalf of the Rodgers family they want to make sure that the victims and the victims' families are aware that this is the tragedy of the most extreme," Shifman said. "They want to send their deepest condolences to all of the victims' families involved."
Shifman also said the family called police several weeks ago to notify them about Rodger's YouTube videos "regarding suicide and the killing of people." From the Associated Press:
Police interviewed Elliot Rodger and found him to be a "perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human," [Shifman] added. Police did not find a history of guns, but did say Rodger "didn't have a lot of friends," had trouble making friends and didn't have any girlfriends.