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Santa Barbara Community Mourns For Shooting Victims


From the studios of NPR West in Culver City, California it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath. A shooting rampage Friday night in Isla Vista near the University of California Santa Barbara has left seven people dead including the alleged shooter, and at least seven injured. KCLU reporter John Palminteri is in Santa Barbara and joins us now. John, can you tell us what you've learned since the shooting?

JOHN PALMINTERI, BYLINE: We know that the shooting resulted in the deaths of seven people in this rolling drive-by shooting. It actually included a running gun battle with sheriff's deputies in the Isla Vista community. And all of those injured were wounded by gunshots. One, we know for sure, was a bike rider who was plowed into by the car that this person was driving and suffered a massive head injury. And they're all being treated at Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital.

It is very sad in Isla Vista this morning as many people are mourning the losses of those who were shot, ambushed if you will, and others who were badly injured by the gunfire. And now they're trying to make some sense as to what mental state of mind this person was in to do such a thing.

RATH: It sounds like there was a rapid police response though that might've saved lives. What can you tell us about that?

PALMINTERI: Isla Vista's known for very fun, upbeat party type atmosphere. It's a college community, very densely populated, 20,000 as a matter of fact in apartments and dorms and rental homes in a half-square mile area just next to the campus of the University of California Santa Barbara. And so on Friday and Saturday nights, they are very active, out on the town, going to parties, walking around. And they ride their bikes a lot out here.

So the streets are full and the Isla Vista foot patrol, which is a division of the Sheriff's Department knows this, so they're out there already in certain places on foot, on bicycles themselves, in patrol cars. When these shots were fired, there were already deputies that heard the shots and were radioing the location being 911 calls were starting to measure a map out as well.

And the gunman in the car literally came down streets that were already in areas where the deputies were deployed. And that's when they got into a gun fight back and forth from the car to the deputies. Fortunately no deputies were hurt but there were two different locations where active gunfire was going back and forth with students present on the streets and the deputies trying to stop this gunman.

RATH: And John, what do you know about the people who were wounded?

PALMINTERI: We know that most of them, as we can tell, or all of them are young college-age victims. And some eyewitnesses are telling us that by their count most of their were females and that they play into a larger picture on the motive that's going through the mental state of mind of this gunman.

RATH: John Palminteri of KCLU talking with us from Santa Barbara.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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