At least six people were killed and several others injured during a shooting rampage Friday night in a small beachfront community near the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The shooter was also killed, leaving behind a trail of evidence suggesting that the mass shooting was planned, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
“We have obtained and we are currently analyzing both written and videotaped evidence that suggests that this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder,” Brown said during an early-morning news conference.
Gunfire erupted shortly before 9:30 p.m. in Isla Vista, Calif., an area near the UC Santa Barbara Campus and about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. A shooter fired dozens of shots while driving and walking through the area, leaving behind “a very chaotic series” of nine crime scenes spread across Isla Vista, Brown said.
The first calls to police reporting gunshots came in at 9:27 p.m., Brown said. At the same time, sheriff’s office deputies already in Isla Vista also heard gunshots and found several victims. As they performed first aid, they were given information regarding the shooter and the vehicle that person was using.
Several minutes later, the shooter engaged in a shootout with sheriff’s deputies before fleeing. The shooter was spotted again moments later by another deputy; the shooter and the deputy both fired shots at one another before the shooter fled down the street and eventually crashed into a parked vehicle.
Deputies approached the shooter’s vehicle and found the person inside dead from “an apparent gunshot wound to the head,” Brown said. A semi-automatic handgun was found in the car. But it was unclear whether the shooter was killed by police or the fatal wound was self-inflicted.
Police said they were examining a video posted on YouTube in which a man, sitting in a car, said he had planned an attack in Isla Vista because he was sexually frustrated and had been snubbed by women. The young man, who said he was 22, described himself as a virgin and said he planned an act of retribution because women had not found him attractive.
“We’re investigating that as evidence we believe is connected to the crime,” Brown said.
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