Police: Gunman killed 4 in California shootings
Updated: 2013-06-08 09:56
The equipment of a man believed to be the suspect in a shooting incident at Santa Monica College lies on the sidewalk after he was shot in Santa Monica, California, June 7, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
From there, the scene shifted to Santa Monica College, located in a neighborhood of strip malls and homes more than a mile inland from the city's famous Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade and its expansive, sandy beaches.
Jimes Gillespie, 20, told The Associated Press he was in the college's library studying when he heard gunfire, and he and dozens of other students began fleeing the three-story building.
"As I was running down the stairs I saw one of the gunmen," said Gillespie, who described the shooter as a white man in his 20s, wearing cornrows in his hair and black overalls. He said the man was carrying a shotgun.
Gillespie believed there were two shooters because he heard two kinds of gunfire - a shotgun and a handgun - but only saw one person.
"The shotgun blast was first. It was either him or the partner who shot eight to 10 handgun shots," Gillespie said. "Then after I saw the gunman I heard more shots and I ran out of the library through the emergency exit."
As Gillespie ran across campus, he said he saw a car in front of the English building that was riddled with bullet holes, had shattered windows and a baby's car seat in the back.
A women is comforted by a traffic officer near Santa Monica College following a shooting today on the campus in Santa Monica, California, June 7, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
"It was so scary," said Wilepananon. "It was so dark and I was scared. We didn't know what to do."
Santa Monica police Sgt. Rudy Flores said numerous witnesses called to report that the shooting near the college began with a man on a street corner near the college firing shots at vehicles, including a bus.
California Highway Patrol Officer Vince Ramirez said his agency began receiving 911 calls just minutes before noon.
"We understand one shooter was taken into custody shortly after we arrived," he said.
The two-year college, with about 34,000 students, was in the midst of final exams Friday. It was quickly locked down by police, and students were told to leave.
As the drama unfolded, Obama was attending a fundraising luncheon about 3 miles away.