Updated: May 24, 2014 5:37:04 pm
At least seven people were killed when a lone gunman sprayed gunfire from a car in a drive-by shooting near a college campus in the California city of Santa Barbara, including the suspected shooter, authorities said on Saturday.
Seven more people were wounded in what the Santa Barbara County Sheriff described as a premeditated atrocity late on Friday in the town of Isla Vista near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara.
“This incident appears to be a mass murder situation,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told a televised news conference. “We currently have seven people confirmed dead, that includes the suspect and six victims.”
Witnesses reported seeing a black BMW speeding through the streets and spraying bullets at people and other targets in Isla Vista, California’s KEYT-TV reported.
The sheriff said the gunman twice exchanged fire with deputies before his vehicle crashed. The suspect was found dead in the car from a gunshot wound to the head, and authorities recovered a semiautomatic handgun, he said.
“We have obtained and are currently analyzing both written and videotaped evidence that suggests this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder,” Brown said.
He could not immediately say whether the suspected gunman was killed by deputies in the exchange of fire or died of a self-inflicted wound.