A man who police describe as “severely mentally disturbed” allegedly used a semi automatic handgun to embark on a drive-by shooting spree, killing seven people “at various targets” near a Santa Barbara university campus in California on Friday night. The shooter wounded seven others, and was later found dead with a gunshot wound to the head.
A student told local TV station KEYT-TV that “she was approached by the driver of a black BMW who flashed a handgun and asked ‘Hey, what’s up?’” She kept walking, believing the suspect was carrying an airsoft gun, but heard the buzz of bullets seconds later. The gunman sprayed bullets at numerous targets and “got into two gun battles with deputies during Friday night’s rampage in the beachside community of Isla Vista before crashing his black BMW into a parked car.”
Police have not yet released the name of the shooter, but KEYT reports that he has been identified as the man in a disturbing YouTube video called “Retribution.” In the seven-minute clip, a man who calls himself Elliot Rodger criticizes women “who’ve ignored or rejected him over the past eight years” and warns that he will “punish you all for it.” “I will slaughter every single blonde s**t I see,” Rodger says.
“This incident appears to be a mass murder situation,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told a televised news conference. Another witness described it as an “old western shoot-out.”
The family of Elliot Rodger have confirmed their son as the shooter.