Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey: Inside the Alevi community

Read more

FOCUS

China: A tense Christmas in Wenzhou

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart

Read more

Americas

Santa Monica gunman shot dead after killing spree

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-06-08

A gunman killed at least four people and wounded several others in a deadly rampage through the US town of Santa Monica in California on Friday. The shootings came as President Obama was speaking at a political fundraiser just a few miles away.

A gunman dressed in black killed four people in a string of shootings through the seaside California town of Santa Monica on Friday before he was shot dead by police in a community college library, law enforcement officials said.

Five other people were wounded, one of them critically, in the shooting rampage that unfolded just a few miles from where President Barack Obama was speaking at a political fundraiser elsewhere in Santa Monica, west of Los Angeles.

As the gunman lay dead on a sidewalk outside the Santa Monica College library, a second individual was taken into custody near the campus and described by police as a “person of interest” in the case. He was later released.

Police initially said six people were killed by the gunman, who was described only as a man between the ages of 25 and 30.

Obama completed his remarks at his event without interruption and left for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping near the desert resort community of Palm Springs. The bloodshed did not appear to be related to Obama’s visit and the Secret Service called it a “local police matter.”

The killing spree marked the latest in string of high-profile mass shootings over the past year, including a December attack in Connecticut that killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school and a shooting last July at a suburban Denver movie theater that killed 12 people.

Those attacks have helped reignite a national debate over gun violence in America that spurred Obama and his fellow Democrats to push for expanded background checks for gun buyers - an initiative defeated in the U.S. Senate.

Santa Monica Police said the carnage began at a home east of the college, where the gunman shot two people dead before apparently torching the home. The Los Angeles Times, citing law enforcement sources, reported that the first two victims were believed to be the gunman’s father and brother.

“I was in my apartment when I heard five to seven shots, then a pause, then two shots and I knew it was guns,” neighbor Janet Carter told Reuters.

'Horrific event'

Carter said she walked outside and saw a woman sitting in her car with blood trickling from her head. One of the windows in the car had been blown out, and the woman was lucid and on her cell phone talking to her husband.

Carter said she and another neighbor placed cold compresses around the woman’s shoulder area, where there was blood, and she noticed in the meantime that an old wood house across the street was consumed by flames.

Santa Monica Police Sergeant Richard Lewis said that after leaving the home, the gunman carjacked a woman and ordered her to drive. Along the way he fired at least several rounds at a city bus, wounding three people.

Arriving at the college, the gunman opened fire on a red sport utility vehicle in a staff parking lot, killing the driver and critically wounding his passenger, Lewis said.

The gunman, who was armed with an AR-15 style rifle and at least one handgun, then shot and killed another person at the college before he died in an exchange of gunfire with police, Lewis said.

He said investigators had not yet determined a motive for the rampage, adding: “It’s a horrific event that everybody wishes never happened.”

Students at the campus library described a scene of pandemonium as the sounds of gunfire rang out, sending some scurrying for cover.

One student inside the library, Cyrus Jabari, 19, said that through a window he could see a man dressed in black with a buzz-style haircut carrying what appeared to be an assault rifle.

“The only thing between me and him was a glass door,” he told Reuters.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-06-08

  • USA

    'Five dead' in Seattle shooting

    Read more

  • USA

    Obama gives impassioned plea for new gun laws

    Read more

  • USA

    Death penalty sought for Colorado gunman

    Read more

COMMENT(S)