Seven dead in California ‘premeditated mass murder’
A mentally disturbed gunman possibly bent on retribution sprayed bullets from a slow-moving car in a Southern California college town, killing six people in a rampage called “premeditated mass murder,” Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies said today.
The gunman also died from a gunshot wound after his car crashed Friday night, police said. It was unclear if the fatal head wound was self-inflicted or the result of a firefight with police.
Seven people also were being treated in a hospital for gunshot wounds or traumatic injuries, including at least one who was in surgery, said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.
“The sheriff’s office has obtained and is currently analyzing written and video evidence that suggests this was a premeditated mass murder,” Hoover said.
Hoover apparently was referring to a YouTube video titled “Retribution” posted by a young man. In the nearly seven-minute video, the young man rants about women who ignored or rejected him over the past eight years and warns that he will “punish you all for it.”
“Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge,” the man says on the video.
The shootings occurred in Isla Vista near the University of California, Santa Barbara, in a crowded area bustling with activity on Memorial Day weekend.
“I don’t recall hearing any screaming,” witness Robert Johnson told CNN, describing the moment the gunman opened fire on people outside a deli. “It was at that point where I turned and ran in the opposite direction. … There’s a lot of confusion. Even shortly after this whole ordeal had ended, I think a lot of people didn’t realize the magnitude of the situation.”
One victim, Nick Pasichuke, told CNN he was struck by the gunman’s car.
“There are six other people currently hospitalized with me right now. … There was a guy driving a BMW. I was on a long board and he aimed his car at our group of friends and gunned it into us. I have two broken legs and need surgery. The police said I flew roughly 50 feet into a busy intersection. This is all so crazy.”
Authorities said there were nine separate crime scenes. (CNN)