The man who cops say went on a murderous rampage in Santa Monica yesterday was armed with an AR-15-type assault rifle and enough magazines to hold 1,300 rounds, local Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks told reporters this afternoon.
The attack that took the lives of four and has one additional victim in “grave” condition was premeditated, she said:
The shooter was dressed in black, paramilitary-style garb and wore a vest that could have been equipped with ballistic material, though it was not, Seabrooks said:
I would presume that anytime someone puts on a vest and comes out with a bag of extra magazines, and comes out with handguns and comes out with extra bullets, I would say that is pretty much premeditated.
The Los Angeles Times and ABC Eyewitness News identified the suspected shooter as John Zawahri, a former Santa Monica College student who would have been 24 today.
Authorities believe the young man shot his father and brother at a home — the reported site of a bitter divorce years ago — on Yorkshire Avenue before possibly setting the residence on fire and then going on a rampage.
He carjacked a vehicle and ordered a woman to drive it toward SMC at gunpoint, according to police and reports. Once in the area he opened fire on a bus, injuring three, murdered an SMC worker who was in his red SUV on campus and fatally shot an elderly woman who collected recyclables at the school.
The employee was identified by SMC today as “Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, a groundskeeper and longtime member of the Santa Monica College family.”
His daughter, 26-year-old Marcela, was on campus to purchase textbooks for classes at Cal State Dominguez Hills, the school stated. She was also shot in that SUV and was in critical condition today.
The school has set up a memorial fund for Franco.
At the end of the rampage, police say, the suspect went into the school library, apparently with the intention of targeting more victims, but that the point police were on his tail and fatally shot him.