7 dead in drive-by shooting in California

Updated: 2014-05-24 22:27


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LOS ANGELES - A drive-by shooter went on a rampage near a Santa Barbara university campus that left seven people dead, including the attacker, and seven others wounded, authorities said Saturday.

The gunman got into two battles with deputies during Friday night's rampage in the beachside community of Isla Vista before crashing his black BMW into a parked car, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.

Deputies found the gunman dead with a gunshot wound to the head, but it wasn't immediately clear whether he was killed by gunfire or if he committed suicide, he said.

A semi-automatic handgun was recovered from the scene near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Investigators know the gunman's name but would not release it before relatives were notified, Brown said.

"We're analyzing both written and videotaped evidence that suggests that this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder,'' Brown said.

The rampage broke out around 9:30 p.m. in the student enclave reputed for parties, including an annual spring bash that turned into a violent blowout last month. Brown said the shootings occurred at several sites, resulting in nine crime scenes.

A student told KEYT-TV he saw shots fired from a BMW, fatally striking one woman and critically injuring another woman.

"I heard shots, scream, pain,'' Michael Vitak said. "All emotions. I hope she is going to be fine.''