The University of California-Santa Barbara was shocked when they learned about a series of drive by shootings that resulted in the death of 7 people and the injuries of 7 more.
The shooting spree tool place in Isla Vista at approximately 9:30 p.m. The first 911 call alerted officers to a shooting attack. While officers attended the injured victims at the initial scene, another call came in reported that shots had been fired in another section of the campus.
Deputies report that when they spotted the shooter, he fled the scene only to engage in a firefight with officers when he was once again spotted a few minutes later. Deputies report that the shooter used Del Playa Drive to escape the firefight. When they found his car a few minutes later, they discovered the shooter had died as a result of gunshot wounds. At the time, it was unclear if the fatal shot had been fired by a deputy during the fire fight or if it was self-inflicted. Deputies found a semi-automatic handgun in the car with the driver.
At the time of the shooting, Nikolaus Becker was near the scene of the first shots, just outside the Habit, 888 Embarcadero Del Norte. At first, he thought someone was using firecrackers. It wasn’t until he hear the second round of shots that everyone realized that they were hearing gunfire.
“That’s when they yelled at us to get inside and take cover,” Becker said. One of the first things Becker saw when he came out of the restraint after the attack was the three body bags containing victims who hadn’t survived the ordeal.
“It was chaotic and there’s a lot of rumors flying around,” Becker said. “It was so strange, afterwards there was still people outside riding their bikes. One guy was doing his homework.”
The shooter in this case has been identified as a student at the university. School records indicate that while he did enroll in classes, he frequently dropped out of them. It’s believed that the shooting spree was triggered after he’d been rejected by various sorority sisters. When the authorities investigated his rented apartment, they located his manifesto as well as several videos in which the shooter stated that he wished to kill sorority sisters.
It’s believed that the shooter as also involved in in some stabbing deaths prior to his shooting spree. At least two of the stabbing victims are believed to have been his roommates.
“We are horrified and deeply saddened by the tragic events in Isla Vista last night…. We grieve for the precious lives lost, and we share in the heartbreak of their families, friends, and classmates,” Henry T. Yang, chancellor of the university stated in a letter he released following the shootings.