The Stories Of The Victims Of Deadly Santa Monica Rampage
We've put together a timeline of what we know so far in Friday's rampage in Santa Monica that left five people dead including the alleged gunman John Zawahri. The spree included shootings, car-jackings and arson that spanned a mile from his father's residential home in Santa Monica to the Santa Monica College library.
The details are dizzying, and even law enforcement got the original body count wrong when trying to piece together what happened. There were nine crime scenes altogether, and much of the violence took place between 11:52 a.m. when shots were reported at the home of the gunman's father until 12:05 p.m. when Zawahri was shot by police.
The first victims as we noted were the alleged gunman's father Samir Zawahri, 55, and his unidentified adult brother. Their bodies were found in a burning home at the intersection of Kansas and Yorkshire avenues about a mile away from Santa Monica College.
Zawahri allegedly shot at an unidentified woman driving by the Zawahri home. Police said at a press conference, "There may have been an attempt to intervene," causing the gunman to shoot her point-blank in response.
Laura Sisk, 41, of Culver City was trying to avoid roadblocks set up for President Obama's arrival into town when she came upon Zawahri, she told the Los Angeles Times. At first she thought the gunman was a secret service agent. The gunman ordered her to drive him and his bag of ammunition to Santa Monica College. He fired at people along the way, including a city bus and an SUV. He directed her to a dead-end street near the college where he got out and she lifted his bag out of the car. She drove her car to the end of the street and took off running. She wasn't injured but her car was riddled with bullets.
Three unidentified women were injured when Zawahri opened fire on a Big Blue Bus. He fired at the bus and shattered the windows from the front to the back, according to the Los Angeles Times. The passengers dove to the floor for cover, but it happened so quickly that some of them were injured. A bullet grazed the head of one woman sitting in the back of the bus, witnesses told the Times. Those women with minor injuries were treated and released at a nearby hospital.
Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, of West Los Angeles was killed in a parking lot at 20th and Pearl Streets, and his 26-year-old daughter Marcela Franco*
is on life support has died, according to the Los Angeles Times. CNN reports that although Franco was a groundskeeper on the college campus. On that day he wasn't working, but was driving his daughter to campus to pick up the paperwork she needed to transfer to California State University at Dominguez Hills. Zawahri opened fire hitting Franco in the stomach, causing his red Ford Explorer to slam into a wall. His daughter was also hit. Franco died at the scene, and his daughter is in grave condition died on Sunday. Los Angeles County coroner's Capt. John Kades had said on Saturday that death was imminent and that she may already be brain dead. A relative Alfred Creollo who lives in the same building as Franco told CNN, "He was a dedicated husband, dedicated to his family, he was a good person. We lived here together for 30 years. It was just a devastating blow to hear what happened to him."
UPDATE 6/9: The Carlos Franco Family Memorial Fund has been set up in memory of the groundskeeper, and school officials are also planning a campus-wide memorial, CNS reports. The Los Angeles Times reports that his daughter has died as well:
MORE: Franco's family was with her by her side when she died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.— L.A. Times: L.A. Now (@LANow) June 9, 2013
After Zawahri left Sisk's car, he had a shootout with police on campus before running into the library where students were studying for finals. Before entering the library, he shot an unidentified woman in her 50's just outside the entrance. She died about three hours after being transferred to UCLA Ronald Reagan-Medical Center. It doesn't sound like the woman was a student: Santa Monica police spokesman Sgt. Richard Lewis said the woman was collecting a bag of recyclables at the time.
Although Zawahri is suspected of firing 70 rounds in the library, however, no students were injured. Santa Monica Police said students ducked into a "safe room" in the library, barricaded the door and ducked down to dodge his bullets: the strategy worked.
Police exchanged gunfire with Zawahri, fatally wounding him. They dragged his body outside where he died, according to the Associated Press.