UC Santa Barbara resumes classes after deadly Elliot Rodger rampage
Flowers placed at the I.V. Deli in Isla Vista on May 25, 2014, form a part of a makeshift memorial to victims of a shooting rampage.(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Classes are scheduled to resume at UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, a step toward normality for a community still grieving after Elliot Rodger’s deadly rampage left six students dead and 13 others wounded.
Thousands of students and community members gathered at Harder Stadium on Tuesday in remembrance for those killed after Rodger, 22, stabbed three people to death in his apartment before fatally shooting three others as he tore through Isla Vista in his BMW on Friday night.
Classes were canceled Tuesday for what the university declared was a day of mourning and reflection. Grief counselors were made available, as were other services -- a memorial wall for reflection, a tent for therapy dogs, extended hours at professors’ offices, emergency housing for distressed and displaced students.
It all culminated at a packed stadium, with Richard Martinez, the father of slain student Christopher Michaels-Martinez, appealing for tougher gun control laws and rousing the audience into chanting “Not one more!”
UC President Janet Napolitano, meanwhile, called on the student body to hold the memories of their slain comrades dear.
“The good they did, their personal triumphs, personal traits, the grace notes they brought to their everyday lives,” Napolitano said. “As long as we hold them in our hearts, they’re not gone.”
Many in the crowd, made up mostly of students, wore black ribbons that volunteers had made throughout the day for the memorial service, which came four days after the shooting and stabbing rampage police say Elliot Rodger carried out in the seaside college town.
In addition to Michaels-Martinez, the other five victims killed were: Weihan “David” Wang, 20; Cheng Yuan “James” Hong, 20; Veronika Weiss, 19; Katie Cooper, 22; and George Chen, 19. The names of the injured have not been released.
Grief and counseling services would remain in place into the week. The UCSB call center for community members and parents with questions can be reached at (805) 893-3901. The counseling services hotline number remains (805) 893-4411.
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