Gunman kills 6 in drive-by shooting in California college town

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (Reuters) – A gunman killed six people and wounded seven others in a drive-by shooting in a Southern California college town, spraying bullets from his car until it crashed and he was found dead inside, authorities said yesterday.

Authorities were investigating a possible link between the shooting on Friday night in the town of Isla Vista near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara and a threatening video posted online.

In the YouTube video, a young man bitterly complained of loneliness and rejection by women and said he planned to kill people. The video appears to have been made by the suspect, Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters.

Witnesses reported seeing someone driving a black BMW through the streets and shooting at people in Isla Vista, a beachside community where many college students live.

“It’s obviously the work of a madman,” Brown said at a news conference. “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.”

Seven people died in the rampage, including the suspect, Brown said.

He did not identify the suspect but a lawyer for the suspected gunman’s family tentatively identified him as Elliot Rodger, son of a Hollywood director.

“I cannot confirm that but we believe it,” the attorney, Alan Shifman, told reporters outside the family home in the Woodland Hills neighbourhood of Los Angeles. “But the police would not give us 100 per cent (certainty).”

“We offer our deepest, compassionate sympathy to the families involved in this terrible tragedy,” Shifman told reporters, reading from a prepared statement on behalf of the family. “We are experiencing the most inconceivable pain and our hearts go out to everyone involved.”

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