UCLA Remembers UCSB Students Killed Friday

The memorial on the Westwood campus is the first of many planned throughout the UC system to show solidarity with the grieving UC Santa Barbara community.

Vigils for six slain U.C. Santa Barbara students were held Monday night at UCLA and U.C. San Diego, the first in a series of remembrances scheduled at all 10 University of California campuses.

In Thousand Oaks, friends and former classmates of Westlake High School alumna Veronika Weiss gathered to remember her at a private memorial.

"As students at the University of California, we stand in support of those on our sister campus," a UCLA Facebook event page stated. "Let us take this opportunity to stand even closer together and recognize the bonds within our community."

More than 2,000 students attended the UCLA memorial, according to KTLA5. Similar observances are scheduled Tuesday at U.C. Irvine and Wednesday at U.C. Riverside. Others are scheduled throughout the week at the remaining campuses.

The memorial at Westlake High School honored 19-year-old Weiss near the swimming pool where she practiced and competed as part of the school's water polo team. The gathering was closed to the media at her parent's request.    

"It's very heartbreaking for your daughter, who is in high school to find out her friend has been shot dead," parent Caroline Spaeter told KCBS2. "It's something a mother, any parent, doesn't want to happen."

In an earlier interview, Weiss' father, Bob, remembered his daughter as a kind and caring person.

"She was the person who would reach out to the kids who weren't the popular kids," he told KCBS. "She touched a lot of people."

Weiss and two other UCSB students, Katherine Breann Cooper of Chino Hills,  and Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos, were shot and killed during a murderous rampage through Isla Vista carried out Friday night by Elliot Rodger, 22, of Woodland Hills.

Prior to rhe shootings, authorities said Rodger stabbed his roommates and one of their friends to death at the apartment they shared in Santa Barbara.

They were identified as Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, and George Chen, 19, both of San Jose; and 20-year-old Weihan Wang of Fremont. All six were UCSB students, according to the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department.

In addition, 13 other people were injured including four who were mowed down as Rodger drove his black BMW through Isla Vista, shooting randomly out a window.

Rodger had outlined his plans to kill female college students in a series of "chilling" postings on social media including a video uploaded the day before and a 100,000-word manifesto titled "My Twisted World," which was forwarded to several people, including Santa Barbara television station KEYT.

Each made repeated references to his feelings of loneliness, anger at being spurned and still a virgin and detailed his hatred of women.

Rodger had bought two of three 9 mm handguns found in his car from gun shops in the Los Angeles area -- one in Burbank, the other in Oxnard. The third was purchased from a shop in Goleta, not far from the UCSB campus, Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown said during a Saturday news conference. All three were legally purchased and registered to Rodger, he said.

According to a KCAL9 report, the Burbank store, Gun World at 2412 W. Magnolia Blvd., has been served with search warrants by law enforcement officers who are going over the store's records.

The guns, along with more than 400 rounds of ammunition, were recovered after sheriff's deputies found Rodger dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in his car, which was wrecked as the six-minute shooting spree ended.

One was a Glock 34 long slide that Rodger claimed to have purchased in Goleta, according to the manifesto.  The other two were Sig Sauers, Brown said.

--City News Service

George Vreeland Hill May 27, 2014 at 01:35 PM
The whole thing is so sad. It is unbelievable and beyond normal thinking. Another sad thing to think about is that these attacks will go on and on until we have total gun control. Unless we control guns, there is nothing we can do to do these ugly events.
shane May 28, 2014 at 06:43 AM
That's intelligent George. 101 reasons why we re doomed


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