Roses placed to honor six people killed in deadly rampage
Isla Vista community members and UC Santa Barbara students gathered Thursday evening for a memorial walk and vigil on the 5-year anniversary of the mass shooting and rampage that killed six UCSB students and injured 14 more people.
Relatives of the victims joined the walk, which started at Storke Plaza on campus and ended at Anisq’Oyo’ Park in Isla Vista.
People placed roses at the Love & Remembrance Garden for Katherine Breann “Katie” Cooper, 22, of Chino Hills, and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, of Westlake Village.
They also placed roses for Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos, Cheng Yuan “James” Hong, 20, and George Chen, 19, both of San Jose, and Weihan “David” Wang, 20, of Fremont.
Speakers at the park included Richard Martinez, father of Christopher Michael-Martinez; Dan and Kelli Cooper, the parents of Katie Cooper; UCSB Police Officer Ariel Bournes, who was in training on a ride-along the night of the shootings; and UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang.
Several pieces of gun-related legislation have been passed in the five years following the massacre, including Assembly Bill 1014, which allows law enforcement personnel to seize a person’s weapons for up to 21 days if they feel that the person poses a threat to him or herself or the public.
Another law, partially prompted by the fact that sheriff’s deputies had conducted a welfare check on the shooter at his home a month before the massacre, is Senate Bill 505, which requires law enforcement agencies to develop policies encouraging officers to search the Department of Justice’s Automated Firearms System, California’s database of gun purchases, prior to conducting a “welfare check” on a person who is potentially a danger to themselves or others.
State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, said Thursday that Senate Bill 55, her bill restricting gun ownership to Californians with repeated convictions of certain alcohol-related crimes like DUI, passed off the Senate floor and is going to the Assembly.
A UC Davis study found that alcohol-related convictions were associated with an increased risk of incident arrest for a violent or firearm-related crime, Jackson’s office said in a news release updating the bill’s progress.
In the case of the Isla Vista massacre, Elliot Rodger, 22, shot three people to death and injured 14 others, then killed himself on May 23, 2014.
Before driving through town shooting at pedestrians and bicyclists, Rodger fatally stabbed Chen, Hong and Wang — his roommates and one of their friends — in his apartment.
As previously reported by Noozhawk following the release of the investigative report on the rampage, Rodger took to the streets of Isla Vista shortly before 9:30 p.m., in his black coupe, shooting passers-by with semi-automatic weapons and hitting them with his car.
He shot and killed Cooper and Weiss, both members of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, who were standing outside the Alpha Phi sorority house on the 800 block of Embarcadero Del Norte.
Rodger fatally shot Michaels-Martinez at the Isla Vista Deli Mart on the 6500 block of Pardall Road.
Seven more people were wounded by gunfire and seven were injured by Rodger, who hit them with his car during his eight-minute rampage.
Rodger shot himself while he was still driving, and his car crashed on the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive.