The overall death toll from yesterday’s violence in Santa Monica stands at five, including the suspected gunman. But a sixth person, a woman, is in grave condition at a hospital.
The Los Angeles Times has identified the gunman as John Zawahri, citing five law enforcement sources in Washington and Los Angeles.
The Times reports the gunman was apparently angry over his parents’ divorce and had some mental health issues in the past, citing a law enforcement source.
Santa Monica Police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the suspect would have turned 24 years old today.
Seabrooks said students hid in a room in the Santa Monica College library, piled objects against a door, and were shot at through their barricade by the gunman.
The black-clad assailant was shot and killed outside the college library, clutching a .223 caliber assault rifle, described by Seabrooks as “similar in type to an AR-15,”‘ and had been equipped with enough 30-shell magazines to hold 1,300 rounds.
Two people were found dead in a burning house about a mile from the college campus. Police sources told the LA Times the men were Samir Zawahri, 55, the owner of the house and the father of the alleged gunman, and one of his adult sons. If those two fatalities are linked to the shootings, police say the death toll now stands at five.
One of the victims shot yesterday has been identified as Carlos Navarro Franco. The 68-year-old lives in West LA. He was the driver of a red Ford Explorer who was gunned down on the campus at a parking lot at 20th and Pearl streets.
Franco’s youngest daughter, Marcela, 26, was also one of the victims of Friday’s shootings. She is in critical condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and is not expected to survive, according to SMC President Chui Tsang. Marcela was a student at CSU Dominguez Hills, and was on the SMC campus with her father to purchase textbooks for summer classes.
“Carlos was truly a family man,” Tsang said in a statement. “He was a dedicated husband and father and an integral part of the Santa Monica College family. His dedicated work to the campus grounds was enjoyed by students and visitors for two decades. He will be sorely missed.”
Few additional details have been released by Santa Monica police today. Police would not reveal information about whom the weapons used in the shooting rampage were registered to, or any information about the mental history of the alleged gunman.
Pico Boulevard has been re-opened in front of the campus, but Santa Monica College itself remains locked up. Campus police have set up a plan for students and staff to retrieve belongings that they abandoned in Friday’s shooting chaos. But police cannot yet say when that will happen.
There is no plan yet on when people can go into the parking garages to get their cars. Students and staff have been told they’ll get an e-mail, which will tell them when they can report to the campus perimeter. They’ll be escorted in to get their computers, books and purses.
Evidence table holds weapons carried by the gunman,