The Mixer: The Santa Monica shootings, one week later – what have we learned?

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Mourners pay tribute to the victims of the June 7 shootings at a vigil at Santa Monica College on Monday, June 10. Photo by Avishay Artsy.

One week has passed since 23-year-old John Zawahri opened fire in Santa Monica, killing five people, starting with his father and brother.

Last night, Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks revealed that Zawahri left behind a farewell note. She summarized some new information in the case, such as how Zawahri had been denied the ability to buy a gun two years ago, and how he was able to piece a semi-automatic type weapon together. Officials say the parts are individually legal to obtain, but when put together they make a weapon that is illegal in California.

With that gun, and after killing two members of his family, Zawahri, then shot at others, and hijacked a car, demanding the driver take him to Santa Monica College. There, he shot and killed three people, 68-year old Margarita Gomez, who regularly collects bottles at the campus for recycling; 68-year old Carlos Franco, a groundskeeper at SMC: and Franco’s daughter, 26-year old Marcela Franco, who was there to buy books for classes at SMC. She died two days later.

In the past week we’ve learned more about John Zawahri, his criminal past and some of his possible motives for the attack. One week after those horrific events, I invited LA Times reporter Andrew Blankstein and Univision reporter Oswaldo Borraez to discuss what we know, and have yet to learn, about the gunman.