UCI Stands with UCSB
Students across the UC system are organizing vigils this week in solidarity with those affected by the tragic shootings that took place in the Isla Vista community near UC Santa Barbara on Friday night.
Seven people were killed and seven were injured by the gunman, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown at a press conference the morning after the shooting. As of Saturday night, three of the victims were confirmed to be UCSB students.
The suspect reportedly drove around the Isla Vista neighborhood at approximately 9:30 p.m. shooting people out of his BMW, before engaging in gunfire with police. After exchanging gunfire with police twice, the suspect went on to hit several pedestrians with his car until he crashed into parked vehicles, ending the rampage. The shooting spree spanned over 12 locations in the Isla Vista area, reported the UCSB student newspaper, the Daily Nexus.
According to police, the suspect died at the scene by a gunshot wound to the head, but they did not confirm whether the shot was self-inflicted. The suspect was later identified as Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old Santa Barbara Community College student living in Isla Vista. Sheriff Bill Brown called the crime a “mass murder” and related it to a video that Rodger posted on YouTube earlier in the week that detailed his violent plans.
UCSB administrators opened the Emergency Operation Center to properly address the situation. The campus made a room available for families of the victims and has made counseling resources available to the UCSB community. Though the shooting occurred outside school grounds and involves people outside of UCSB, the school and campus police are working with the IV community throughout this process.
UC President Janet Napolitano issued a statement on the matter on Saturday morning.
“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news of a mass shooting last night in the Isla Vista area near UC Santa Barbara. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy, their families and the entire Santa Barbara community,” Napolitano said.
The UC President said she is working closely with UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang to provide any assistance the Santa Barbara campus may need. UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake issued this statement on Saturday afternoon:
“We were horrified to awake to the news that there had been a random, senseless mass shooting near UC Santa Barbara, and deeply saddened to learn that several of those wounded or killed were students from our sister campus. We have offered whatever assistance UCSB may need. We send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the victims of this tragedy and their families.”
Many Anteaters and UC students across campuses echoed this sentiment as they changed their profile pictures to show support and spread the hashtag #WeAreOneUC. UCI students have planned a vigil, to be held at the flagpoles on Tuesday the 27th at 8 p.m.