Was Friday’s tragedy a ‘school shooting?’

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Mourners gather at a memorial for Carlos and Marcela Franco, killed in Friday’s shootings at Santa Monica College. Photo by Avishay Artsy.

Investigators are still piecing together the details of Friday’s deadly shootings in Santa Monica that killed 5 people. Police shot and killed the gunman in the library of Santa Monica College; he died on campus.

The first incident happened at a house north of the college, but culminated at the school. And that fact has led law enforcement to not label what happened on Friday as a school shooting.

“This is not a school shooting,” said Al Vasquez, chief of the Santa Monica College Police Department. “This began off-campus and it was unfortunate that the suspect chose SMC to continue his crimes.”

The term ‘school shooting’ obviously has more political ramifications in the days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that took place in Newtown, Connecticut last December. Twenty school children were murdered there.

KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talk to Kevin Roderick from LA Observed about the nomenclature of what defines a school shooting.