But then — shattered glass. Sirens. Screams.
Within 10 minutes, it was done — seven dead, 13 wounded, a tormented young man slumped at the wheel of a shattered BMW, a gunshot wound to his head, three semiautomatic handguns and more than 400 rounds of ammunition at his side.
Behind him, there were 10 distinct crime scenes in a single square mile — skateboarders and bikers run down and tossed into the air; bullets bursting through the windows of shops; police officers tackling pedestrians and hauling them indoors to protect them; two young women dying on the lawn of a sorority.
For months, Elliot Rodger, 22, had posed behind the wheel of that same BMW, posting videos of himself on social media.
Here is The Times' coverage of the attack.
Veronika Weiss and Katherine Cooper, Isla Vista shooting victims and UC Santa Barbara Tri Delta sisters, told life stories on Instagram, Twitter