Isla Vista shooting: UCSB cancels classes; campus mourns 6 killed
UC Santa Barbara called off classes Tuesday for a day of mourning and reflection after last week’s deadly rampage near the campus, which left seven dead.
UC Santa Barbara canceled classes for Tuesday as the campus mourned six students killed in a rampage on Friday.
The school, however, said faculty and staff will be on campus to offer support and counseling to students.
“We ask that faculty come to campus on Tuesday to be available to meet with students,” UCSB said in a statement. “We suggest that faculty communicate with our students and teaching assistants to let them know whether they will be meeting at their regularly scheduled class time, or in office hours, or both.”
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department officials Sunday identified the first three victims of the Isla Vista rampage, each found fatally stabbed Friday night inside an apartment not far from the UCSB campus.
Now, all the attacker’s victims have been identified, and they were all UCSB students.
The latest names to be released -- Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, of San Jose; George Chen, 19, of San Jose; and Weihan Wang, 20, of Fremont -- were stabbed multiple times in unit No. 7 of a two-story, charcoal gray building on Seville Road. Authorities say 22-year-old Elliot Rodger attacked them before going on a rampage through Isla Vista, killing three more people before taking his own life.
Hong, Chen and Wang were all UCSB students, and Hong and Chen were roommates. It’s unclear whether Wang also was a roommate or was just visiting, officials said in a release. Finding their bodies inside the apartment was “a horrific crime scene,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.
Hidden in Rodger’s bedroom were three guns purchased legally from licensed dealers in Goleta, Oxnard and Burbank, authorities said. They said Rodger used the guns and his black BMW to wreak havoc across a square mile of the quiet college town -- running down cyclists and skateboarders, shooting through shop windows and exchanging fire with officers.
At 9:30 p.m. Friday, Rodger got in his car and drove to UC Santa Barbara’s Alpha Phi sorority house, where he banged aggressively on the door for more than a minute, officials said.
The events of the evening were unfolding just as Rodger had described in a 137-page diatribe and in multiple online videos, vowing to kill people quietly at his home, then going to a sorority house to “slaughter” women.
“Fortunately, no one opened the door” at the sorority house, Brown said. But before leaving, Rodger shot three women on the front lawn. UC Santa Barbara students Katherine Cooper and Veronika Weiss died. A third survived multiple gunshot wounds.
According to authorities, Rodger then steered his BMW through the streets of Isla Vista, an unincorporated community on the coast of Santa Barbara County, driving by a nearby deli and fatally shooting 20-year-old student Christopher Michaels-Martinez.
Rodger eventually ran into the back of a jeep and came to a halt, the right wheel well of his BMW on fire, the driver’s door thrown open. Authorities found him dead inside the car.
At least one of Rodger’s roommates had issues with him before: In January, Rodger accused Hong of stealing three candles, valued at $22, said Joyce Dudley, Santa Barbara County district attorney.
When Hong said he didn’t know where the candles were, Rodger performed a citizen’s arrest and called 911. Sheriff’s deputies found the candles on Hong’s bed. He was arrested and charged with a petty theft infraction.
Hong was a computer science student who grew up in Taipei, according to his Facebook page. He graduated in 2012 from Lynbrook High School in San Jose.
Weiss, 19, a UCSB student from Westlake, was recalled as a bright, athletic and outgoing young woman. Her Facebook page featured an announcement for a sorority basketball game that was scheduled to take place Saturday, the day after the shooting.
“She definitely has a big personality, very outgoing, friendly. She was very well-liked,” recalled Michelle Noyes, 19, who was friends with Weiss at Westlake High and in middle school.
“She was a leader,” Noyes said in a telephone interview. “She would take control -- like in a good way -- of the group. I remember she ended up planning our homecoming, like what we did before, for a few years.”
Jeff Dolphin, a second-year student at UC Santa Barbara, said he lived with Michaels-Martinez their freshman year. They were assigned to be roommates, he said.
Dolphin was nervous about going into college and moving into the dorms, he told reporters after a Saturday vigil. But Michaels-Martinez “made it very easy.”
“Chris was just an amazing guy,” he said. “If I was going through something, he was always there for me. If I needed something, he was there. If I needed a textbook, if I was locked out of the room because I forgot my key, he would stop playing basketball or doing what he was doing to unlock the door so I didn’t have to get charged. He was just a great guy.”
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