This post was updated at 6:50 p.m.
UCLA students will come together in a candlelight vigil on Monday to honor those affected by a deadly shooting rampage in Isla Vista, a popular residential area for UC Santa Barbara students.
About 9:30 p.m. Friday in downtown Isla Vista, a man armed with a semi-automatic handgun and driving a black BMW fired his gun several times at passersby, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown in a press conference early Saturday morning. The shooting left seven individuals dead and seven others hospitalized, Brown said.
After several exchanges of gunfire with the police, the suspect fled in his car and crashed into a parked vehicle, Brown said. Brown said the suspect was later found dead inside his car with a gunshot wound to his head.
The names of the victims have not been officially released and officials are still investigating the scene.
University of California President Janet Napolitano released a statement Saturday expressing sympathy for the victims of the mass shooting.
“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news,” Napolitano said in a statement. “I have told (UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang) the UC Office of the President will assist his campus in any way we can.”
Napolitano said campus officials at UC Santa Barbara have set up a room for families coming to campus and have made counseling services available to anyone who needs them. UC Santa Barbara has also opened the campus’ Emergency Operation Center, she said in the statement.
Steve Montiel, a UC spokesman, said the priority for the UC is to make sure those injured are being taken care of and families of victims and survivors are given attention. Given that the shooting happened outside the campus, it’s still too early to say what kind of measures the UC may take, Montiel said.
Residents in the Isla Vista area have been discussing how to make the town safer after several officers were injured and several students were arrested following a riot during the annual party called Deltopia in April.
A candlelight vigil for the victims of the shooting will be held in Isla Vista at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The undergraduate student government president’s office expressed its sympathy for the victims in a Facebook post Saturday afternoon. The post also directed any UCLA students who would like to seek support to call Counseling and Psychological Services at (310) 825-0768.
The vigil at UCLA will take place Monday at 8 p.m. in Royce Quad.
Ian Cocroft, the organizer of the event and a second-year political science student, said it was important for UCLA students to show solidarity for the entire UC community.
“It hits close to home,” Cocroft said. “We want everyone to take a deep breath … and see how tragic this is for the UC community.”
Compiled by Jeong Park, Bruin contributor.