7 Dead In "Mass Murder" Drive-By Near UC Santa Barbara

Last night, a series of shootings left seven people dead, including the suspected killer, and at least seven injured in a neighborhood populated by many U.C. Santa Barbara students. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said, "This incident appears to be a mass murder situation. It's obviously the work of a madman."

The shootings were in the Isla Vista neighborhood. From the LA Times:

The deadly shooting spree started at 9:27 p.m. in Isla Vista. As deputies were tending to the injured in the first round of shootings, reports of gunfire in several other areas of the college community were reported.

Six minutes after the first 911 call came in, the unidentified man began shooting at deputies, who returned fire. He fled and seconds later was spotted by another deputy, prompting another firefight.

He then took off down Del Playa Drive and crashed into a parked vehicle, the sheriff’s office said. When deputies approached the vehicle they discovered the man was dead and recovered a semi-automatic handgun.

It's unclear if driver was shot by deputies or killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Michael Vitak, a student, told KEYT that he saw the shooter in a BMW, along with another person, fire at two women, one of whom was killed, "I heard shots, scream, pain. All emotions. I hope she is going to be fine."

One woman named Sierra also spoke to KEYT, saying "she was approached by two men in a black BMW. The driver flashed a small black handgun and asked 'Hey, what's up?' Sierra, who was visibly shaken, said she thought it was an airsoft gun and kept walking. She said seconds later, she felt something buzz by her head and quickly realized they were bullets. Three or four of them."

Sheriff Brown also said authorities were looking at whether a YouTube video by someone named Elliot Rodger was connected to the incident. The video, titled "Retribution," shows a young man, in a car, discussing how he will have "revenge against humanity," for his existence of "loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires" "all because girls have never been attracted to me." He says of the girls who haven't been attracted to him that he will "punish you all for it."

An earlier video posted by Rodger was noticed by Redditors a few days ago; one comment said, "If this isn't a troll, then I bet we find out this guy is a serial killer. I'm getting a strong Patrick Bateman vibe from him."

Brown said, "There's going to be a lot more information that will come out that will give a clearer picture of just how disturbed this individual was."

Update: The Santa Barbara Independent reports, "Photographs taken by The Santa Barbara Independent of the suspect’s crashed vehicle on Del Playa Drive show a license plate number that matches the one on the car featured on Rodger’s Facebook page."