5 Dead After Calif. Shooting Rampage

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 8 2013 9:35 AM

Gunman Kills Four in California Before Being Shot by Police

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Realtives of two victims who were killed during the Santa Monica College shootings are overcome with grief near the scene of the crime

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Santa Monica College and its surrounding neighborhood descended into chaos Friday as a gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle began shooting, seemingly at random. The rampage began on a residential street, where the gunman, wearing all-black, first allegedly killed his brother and father before setting their house on fire, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The gunman, who appeared to be wearing a ballistic jacket, then carjacked a woman and forced her to drive to the nearby college campus, according to the Associated Press.  He began shooting along the way, wounding a woman in a car and three other women who were in a bus. When he reached the college he shot at a car, killing the driver before shooting a woman outside the library. He entered the library and kept shooting but didn’t hit anybody. All the witnesses describe him as calm and composed throughout the whole ordeal until police shot and killed him.

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"I thought he was police," a student said. "He looked like he was wearing SWAT gear but with nothing written on it."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.