Santa Monica shooter identified, police had previous contact - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Police: Santa Monica shooter had previous run-in with law

The weapons used in Friday's deadly shooting. (Source: CNN) The weapons used in Friday's deadly shooting. (Source: CNN)
The shooting caused cars to crash and run off the road. (Source: KCAL/KCBS) The shooting caused cars to crash and run off the road. (Source: KCAL/KCBS)
The campus of Santa Monica College. (Source: Michael OH/Wikipedia) The campus of Santa Monica College. (Source: Michael OH/Wikipedia)

SANTA MONICA, CA (RNN) - Police have confirmed they had contact in 2006 with the gunman in a Santa Monica, CA, shooting rampage that killed four people and injured five others Friday.

Because the shooter was a juvenile in 2006, police were unable to release further details about that encounter. Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said he would have turned 24 on Saturday.

The chief called the shooter's actions "premeditated" because of the amount of weapons and ammunition used and because of the way events in the shootings unfurled.

"I would presume that anytime someone puts on a vest of some sort, comes out with a bag full of loaded magazines, has an extra receiver, has a handgun, 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," Seabrooks said during a Saturday news conference.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office identified one of the victims as 68-year-old Carlos Navarro Franco, who was shot while driving his SUV.

Police have identified the shooter but cannot release his identity pending notification of kin. He was shot and killed in the library of Santa Monica College, according to Seabrooks.

Officials did not comment on his mental history, and they were also hesitant to classify this as a school shooting.

"In this case, the circumstances began in the community of Santa Monica, occurred throughout the city of Santa Monica, or in various locales, and then ended on a campus," Seabrooks said. "By the way that we traditionally look at a definition such as that, that is not a school shooting."

The initial 911 call that came in at 11:52 a.m. Friday was for a home that was on fire. Inside, firefighters found two men who were shot to death.

The Associated Press reported that the two men shot in the home were the suspect's father and brother. However, the police have yet to confirm the two victims' relationship with the shooter.

The fire is currently being investigated and is being called "suspicious," Capt. Jason Wells of the Santa Monica Fire Department said.

After that, the suspect carjacked a vehicle, shot at a bus and eventually shot at a red Ford Explorer. Two passengers in the Explorer were hit - one died, and the second is in critical condition at UCLA.

The gunman then ran onto the Santa Monica College campus, firing at women on campus, one of whom died. He made his way to the school's library and attempted to kill several library patrons who were hiding in a safe place. The patrons dodged the bullets and were unharmed.

Shortly after, he returned to the main library area where police shot him dead.

It is still unclear what his motive was or the reason why the shooting spree occurred. Police believe that the deceased shooter acted alone.

Five victims of the shooting spree are in area hospitals.

"I can report we received three patients. One of them has died, and another is in surgery and is very critical," chief of emergency medicine at UCLA Medical Center Dr. Marshall Morgan said Friday.

He also reported that another victim is doing well, although they are listing her condition as serious. He said the injuries were consistent with gunshots.

Three other patients were sent to the UCLA Medical Center-Santa Monica with minor injuries and have since been treated and released.

A person of interest questioned by police has since been released after police determined that person was not part of the shooting spree.

Campus witness Jimes Gillespie told the Associated Press he saw the shooter, describing him as a white man, mid-20s wearing cornrows in his hair and black overalls. He said the shooter was also carrying a shotgun.

Police have confirmed that he was carrying a rifle and multiple magazines. He also dropped a bag that held additional magazines and a handgun.

Nearby schools were placed on lockdown.

The students on campus were preparing for finals. Santa Monica College is a two-year college of nearly 34,000 students in the Los Angeles suburb.

The school will remain closed through Sunday and will reopen on Monday at 7 a.m.

Brett Holzhauer was attending his final day at Santa Monica when he heard gunshots. He and some friends dove into a study room to take cover.

"We were fearing for our lives, not knowing what to do. But I was trained as a lifeguard, so in times of stress you're trained to keep calm and wait it out," he said.

Eventually, the police swarmed in and told them to crawl out of the room on their hands and knees.

"I saw shattered glass everywhere, hundreds of rounds of ammunition," he said.

It's not clear whether all the ammunition was from the gunman or possibly police.

President Barack Obama was at a fundraiser nearby for the Democratic National Committee. It is believed that the shooting is not related to the president's visit, but it did impact his travel plans.

Obama took a motorcade back to Air Force One instead of taking Marine One because his flight path would have taken him directly over the campus.

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