A still-unnamed man used an assault rifle to open fire on Santa Monica, California on Friday, wounding five people and killing four. Authorities believe the situation began as a family dispute, to which the gunman — described as a white man between 25 and 30 years old with cornrows and dressed in black overalls and what appeared to be a ballistic jacket — responded by shooting at a home until it caught fire. Two officials told the AP the bodies of the gunman’s father and his brother were found inside.
The LA Times reports the gunman’s rampage continued as he shot at two people sitting in a nearby Ford Explorer (one died) and highjacked car being driven by a young woman, who he forced to drive toward the Santa Monica College campus. On the way, he shot at a city bus, several buildings, and a police car along Pico Boulevard. When he finally arrived at the school, he headed toward the library. Outside, he shot one woman who later died of her injuries. Once inside, he fired indiscriminately into the crowds of students studying for finals, though he somehow didn’t hit anyone. A witness described the scene to the AP:
“College employee Joe Orcutt said he saw the gunman standing calmly with his weapon. ‘I turn around and that’s when he’s just standing there, like he’s modeling for some ammo magazine,’ Orcutt said. ‘He was very calm just standing there, panning around, seeing who he could shoot, one bullet at a time, like target practice.’”
The cops soon entered the building and shot the gunman, who was carried to the sidewalk and pronounced dead.
The police initially said they were “not convinced 100% that the suspect who was killed operated in solo or a lone capacity” and took a second man wearing a black sweatshirt printed with the words “Life is a Gamble,” though he was later released.
Seven people were originally reported dead, including the gunman, but the LAPD revised that number to four, with the perpetrator making five.
Update: Santa Monica’s police chief, Jacqueline Seabrooks, said the attack was “premeditated” and that the suspect was capable of firing 1,300 rounds of ammunition. She also said the gunman was 23 years old (he would have turned 24 on Saturday), but she did not give his name because his surviving family members are not in the United States. Police had “an encounter” with him seven years ago, though Seabrooks declined to provide details.