An Isla Vista shooting near the UC Santa Barbara campus has left seven people dead and seven others hospitalized, and it appears to be the work of a frustrated student named Elliott Rodger.
The shooting took place on Friday night, with Sheriff Bill Brown telling reporters that the suspected gunman went on a rampage that stretched several blocks. The gunman was later killed in a running gun battle with police officers.
“This obviously was the work of a mad man,” Brown said, describing the violence as a “mass murder.”
Early indications point toward a Santa Barbara student named Elliot Rodger who was frustrated after being ignored by girls. Brown confirmed that a YouTube video titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution” had a connection to the crime. In the video, a young man in a parked car ranted about his sexual advances being rebuffed, and vowed to go to the UCSB campus on Friday night.
“This is my last video,” the young man says. “It all has to come to this. This is the day of retribution, the day I will have my revenge.”
The man seemed to be targeting sorority members in particular.
Police first responded to the Isla Vista shooting after reports of gunshots came in on 911. Deputies patrolling the area also heard the shots and rushed to the area, finding several victims with gunshot wounds.
Witnesses said two people were dead on Embarcadero Del Norte near Segovia Road, with another body found near the Isla Vista Deli Mart. A fourth person was killed near the suspect’s car on Del Playa Drive.
The Isla Vista shooting could be heard from as much as a mile away.
“We definitely heard what sounded like gunshots and then, almost immediately, sirens,” said Kristen Miller, a resident of Storke Ranch about a mile away. “The sirens were so loud and ongoing that my kids came into my room. They were a little scared.”
There were also some heroes in the Isla Vista shooting who prevented an even larger tragedy. Witnesses said after a woman was shot outside a 7-Eleven, the store’s clerk hid 35 people inside until police could come.
There were initial reports that the Isla Vista shooting was the work of more than one person, but Brown later reiterated that the gunman acted alone.
Isla Vista shooting suspect Elliott Rodger has not been officially identified by police, nor have the victims.