Saturday, June 8, 2013
Shooting in Santa Monica
UPDATE 8 pm. Shocker: shooter had 1300 (count 'em) rounds of ammo with him when killed. And mayhem was premeditated. Also, he fired 70 rounds in the library. Involved in 2006 incident of some kind but police can't reveal because he was juvenile. Only 23 now.
UPDATE 4 p.m. Suspect IDed at last as John Zawahri. Police say started as "domestic dispute," hence death of dad and brother, but still can't explain why he wanted to be driven to college for mass mayhem. Had "mental health" issues as a juvenile but died in his 20s.
UPDATE Gunman still not IDed but L.A. Times has name of father he shot and killed: Samir Zawahri.
SATURDAY Not much new overnight. Gunman still not IDed. But this AP story makes plain what he was up to: He forced woman to drive him to college--and then shot at many in the library. Aim seemed to be slaughter there--shot at many but missed as they fled, and then he was killed quickly. But relatively low death toll should not obscure aim of another mass slaying.
This is one of few local news reports, from CBS TV, with more on gunman and family, from neighbor. Bitter divorce of parents, kid seemed crazed, but who knows.
UPDATE #5 Glad to hear but once again crappy police work--as they announce only 5 killed (including shooter) not 7, as they earlier officially announced. They blame this on conflicting witness testimony. What? Coroner? Also: now believe guy did it alone, no helper.
UPDATE #4 The two men killed in the burning house now believed to be gunman's father and brother. Police ID his main weapon as an AR-15.... Amazing and scary account by woman who was forced by gunman to drive him to the college.
UPDATE #3 Now seven dead, including gunman (killed on campus) and more fears of second gunman or someone who "helped." Second man in custody now. Two died in house, four on the street, plus shooter, who was described as 25 to 30 years of age--yet another young, white guy wearing "tactical gear." One woman was shot on campus, not known if she was one of the killed. At least one victim critical in hospital.
Witness on CNN named "Joe" who got shot at says shooter a short-haired guy, very casual, had big assault rifle, almost posing like "model for an ammo magazine."
UPDATE #2 A third victim has died, a woman. Amazing quote from student in library on hearing shots nearby: "I ran like 10 feet, and ran back to grab my laptop."
UPDATE Now it seems the whole thing started when he set fire to a home and attempted a couple of carjackings. Further: two found dead in the home, one shot outside--six in total at hospital. One woman wounded while riding in a bus that he shot into. Campus now being searched for bomb. One witness claims shooter was white man dressed in black and carrying a shotgun or semi-automatic. "Life is a Gamble" written on back of sweatshirt.
Earlier: Some wild reports this afternoon--along with news of President Obama visiting for a fundraiser at the time three miles away--but now seems that man shot wildly on street and also shot three people in car then fled to Santa Monica College campus--he did not shoot anyone there. He ended up in library and taken into custody there. Naturally, school in lockdown amid reports, probably false, of second shooter. Or so this all seems now. Three taken to hospital, two critical.
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @GregMitch