Four killed in Santa Monica shootings, apparent gunman is killed by police

Ron Recinto
The Lookout
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SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- At least four people are dead and several more injured after a gunman, who may not have been acting alone, went on a shooting spree through the streets of Santa Monica, the beachside town that connects the Pacific Ocean to Los Angeles.

One shooter, who then fled to Santa Monica College, was shot and killed by police. Authorities have also taken another suspect into custody.

The rampage started at 2036 Yorkshire Ave. in the eastern portion of Santa Monica, where fire officials responded to a call at 11:52 a.m. PT. A house was on fire when firefighters arrived. The first responders also noticed "shots fired," said Chief Scott Ferguson during a news conference.

Inside they found multiple victims, two of whom were dead.

Two officials said Friday night that the killings began as a domestic violence incident and the victims in the home were the gunman's father and brother, the Associated Press reported.

From that point, police received reports of a carjacking and random shootings as the suspect or suspects moved westward down Pico Boulevard, a busy artery that connects Santa Monica to Los Angeles. One victim was shot near Pico and Cloverfield, two near Pico and 19th and yet another near 19th and Pearl, an intersection near the campus of Santa Monica College.

At that point, campus police exchanged gunfire with a single shooter, who was dressed in black and carrying what's believed to have been an AR-15, semiautomatic rifle, police said.

The suspect ran onto the school's campus, where he shot a woman who later died, before fleeing into the library.

Several witnesses said they saw a broad-shouldered man, approximately 6 feet tall, walking casually inside the building with the rifle at his side.

"I'm a huge gun advocate; I've been around guns all my life, I knew exactly what was happening," Brett Holzhauer, a 19-year-old student, told Yahoo News at the scene. "I ran to my stuff, packed it up as fast as I could and dove into a study room."

Police followed the suspect inside the building, where they fired upon and ultimately killed him. No police officers were injured.

ABC News reported that Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis said, "At this time, we believe it is a single gunman and that part of it has been resolved"

Holzhauer said he hid in the study room for 35 minutes, until police arrived and evacuated the building.

"I saw hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the lobby of the library," Holzhauer said. "I saw shattered glass. I saw blood all down the stairs of the main entrance to the lobby, and as I was walking out I saw a dead body."

Ava Rezai, 20, hid inside a room in library after hearing shots. "I was just praying, just hoping that I could go home," Rezai told Yahoo News.

Three women were taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. According to Dr. Marshall Morgan, chief of emergency medicine, one died, another was in surgery and a third was in serious condition. Three other women went to UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica with minor injuries.

The rampage played out on a morning when President Obama was across town for a fundraiser.

Police officials described the gunman as a white male, 25 to 30 years old and wearing a bulletproof vest.

They took another person of interest into custody, according to Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks at the news conference. ABC News later reported that person was questioned and released.

Police were adamant that this was not a "campus shooting" but rather a series of shootings that ended up at a school. They have not determined the motive for the shootings, but Seabrooks said the incident on Yorkshire "appears not to be [random]."