Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

Santa Monica shooting was premeditated, police say

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The gunman who went on a chaotic rampage, killing four people before being fatally shot by police at a college campus, planned the attack and was capable of firing 1,300 rounds of ammunition, the police chief said Saturday.

"Any time someone puts on a vest of some sort, comes out with a bag full of loaded magazines, has an extra receiver, has a handgun and has a semi-automatic rifle, carjacks folks, goes to a college, kills more people and has to be neutralized at the hands of the police, I would say that that's premeditated," said Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks.

The killer would have turned 24 on Saturday, but Seabrooks wouldn't identify him because his next of kin was out of the country. Police had an encounter with him seven years ago, but she wouldn't elaborate because he was a juvenile at the time.

The chief spoke near a display of weapons and ammo recovered from Santa Monica College, where the killings ended Friday when police gunned him down in the library, where students were studying for finals.

Among items on display were surveillance photos of a man in black entering the library with an assault-style rifle by his side.

The gunman fatally shot one woman in the head outside the library before entering the building and opening fire as students ran for cover.

Earlier, the suspect fired at a red Ford Explorer, hitting driver Carlos Franco, who died at the scene. Franco was a Santa Monica College employee, police said.

The violence, which lasted little more than 10 minutes, started about a mile away when the gunman began shooting at a house, and it caught on fire. Two bodies were later found inside.

Two officials told the Associated Press that the killings began as a domestic violence incident and the victims in the home were the gunman's father and brother. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the case.

The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that law enforcement sources in Washington and Los Angeles identified the suspect as John Zawahri, who was in his 20s. Other law enforcement sources, who spoke to the newspaper on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the suspect had some mental problems in the past and was angry over his parents' divorce.

During the rampage, five people were wounded, two seriously.

Information from the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times was used in this report.

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