Isla Vista, CA…Seven people are dead, including a suspect, and seven people are wounded following a series of shootings in Isla Vista. The identities of those who were killed are not being released until next of kin notifications are made. Of the seven people in the hospital, all are being treated for gunshot wounds or traumatic injuries and at least one of the victims has undergone surgery.
The deceased subject has been preliminarily identified but his name is not being released until a positive identification is made. It appears the suspect acted alone. The Sheriff’s Office has obtained and is currently analyzing written and video evidence that suggests this was a pre-meditated mass murder.
The shootings began at approximately 9:27 p.m. on May 23 when reports of shots fired in the Isla Vista area were called in to the Santa Barbara County Emergency Communications Center. Sheriff’s deputies responded and found several victims suffering from gunshot wounds.
As Sheriff’s deputies were attending to the victims and performing first aid, they were also receiving suspect information. Only minutes later, there were additional reports of shots fired in several other areas of Isla Vista. During this initial stage, a suspect vehicle description was broadcast to law enforcement in the area.
At approximately 9:33 p.m., six minutes after the initial call was received, the suspect engaged a group of responding deputies with gunfire. The deputies returned fire and the suspect fled in his vehicle. Seconds later the suspect was again spotted by another deputy and another exchange of gunfire occurred. The suspect fled down Del Playa Drive and eventually crashed into a parked vehicle.
The deputies approached the vehicle and determined the suspect was dead from an apparent gunshot wound. At this point, it is unknown if the gunshot was self-inflicted or if the suspect was shot by a deputy. A semi-automatic handgun was recovered in the vehicle.
This is a very active and complex investigation involving approximately nine different crime scenes. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is being assisted by the UCSB Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Santa Barbara Police Department, investigators from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, California State Parks and criminalists from the Department of Justice crime lab.
We in the process of interviewing a large number of witnesses and ask for the public’s assistance in locating others. Anyone who witnessed any part of this crime or has information about it is asked to call the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 805-681-4171.
Business Hours: (805) 681-4100