Authorities said a shooter from a moving vehicle set off in a night rampage near the University of Santa Barbara campus, killing seven people, including the attacker, and wounding seven others.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said the gunman entered into two armed battles with lawmakers in the evening in the Isla Vista seaside district before colliding with his black BMW in a parked car.
He said lawmakers found him dead with a gunshot to the head, but it was not immediately clear whether he was shot or killed by suicide.
A semi-automatic pistol was found from the scene near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Investigators know the gunman’s name, but Brown said he cannot release him pending notification of relatives.
“We are analyzing written and videotaped evidence indicating that this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder,” Brown said.
Police said a disturbing YouTube video showed a young man describing plans to shoot women in connection with the attack. Officials did not say whether the person in the video was a suspect in the shooting.
In the video, which was released, the man sits in a black car, looks at the camera, laughs a lot, and says he will take revenge on humanity. He describes feeling lonely and frustrated because “girls have never been attracted to me,” and says that at 22, he is still a virgin. The video, which is approximately seven minutes long, is shown written. It was not possible to independently verify the identity of the person appearing in the video.
The shooting started around 9:30 pm. In Isla Vista, a community of nearly half a square mile adjacent to the UC Santa Barbara campus and scenic seaside cliffs.
Alexander Matera, 23, said his friend Chris Johnson was taking off an improvisation show when he was shot in front of a popular pizzeria. He stumbled into a nearby house.
He said, “He entered the house of these random men and was bleeding.”
Matera was sitting on a fire with his friends when at least one shot fired overhead. Friends ran for shelter when they heard a barrage of gunfire.
“We heard a lot of gunfire, it was incredible. I thought it was fireworks. There had to be at least two guns. There were a lot of shots,” he said.
Police said the shooting occurred at several locations, resulting in nine crime sites.
A visibly shaken student told the station that a driver of a black BMW approached her pistol and asked, “Hey, what’s up?” The student, who did not give her full name, said she thought he was carrying a plastic gun and continued walking. Seconds later, she said, she felt something buzzing in her head and quickly realized it was bullets.
Catherine Shirazi Rad got a call from her 21-year-old son, Adrian Timothy Peterson, who told her in a quivering voice that a BMW was being chased by the police around 9 p.m. He injured his shoulder, but returned home after first responders examined him at the scene.
The identities of the victims were not immediately revealed. Brown said the wounded were receiving treatment for gunshot and traumatic injuries, including at least one person who underwent surgery for life-threatening injuries.
Isla Vista is known for partying excessively.