SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say John Zawahri, the suspected gunman in the Santa Monica rampage, would have turned 24 on Saturday.
Zawahri and his brother were enrolled as students at Santa Monica College (SMC) as recently as 2010, authorities said at a Saturday afternoon news conference.
Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the police department had contact with Zawahri in 2006.
“However, because the individual was a juvenile at the time, I’m not at liberty to discuss circumstances of that contact,” she said.
Friday’s violence unfolded about 11:52 a.m. when police responding to a burning residence on Yorkshire Avenue pulled two bodies from the home.
“[The suspect has] been connected to the address on Yorkshire as well as an address in the Palms area of Los Angeles,” Seabrooks said.
Police also said Zawahri is accused of shooting indiscriminately at people and vehicles in the area, including a big Blue Bus, before making his way to Santa Monica College.
A total of six people, including the suspected gunman, are dead following the rampage, which police say was premeditated.
“If one were to give an approximation of all of the magazines that we collected were in fact loaded fully, something in the order of about 1,300 rounds and that’s an estimation…1,300 rounds could have been fired had there not been an interdiction and the person neutralized at an appropriate time,” Seabrooks said.
Officials also said that the Santa Monica College campus would reopen at 7 a.m. on Monday, with final exams being administered as scheduled.
“We also want to reiterate that this was not a school shooting scenario, as the incident began off campus and it was unfortunate that the suspect choose Santa Monica College to continue the crime spree,” Albert Vasquez, chief of the Santa Monica College Department, said.
Vasquez said staff and students will be escorted onto the campus late Saturday evening to pick up their vehicles. He anticipated that students will be able to be escorted onto campus by Sunday to retrieve their personal belongings.
The SMC main campus will provide the same services beginning Monday morning at 9 a.m., as well as through the rest of the month. A 24-hour counseling support hotline for students and staff is also available at (866)315-7370.
Witnesses or other victims to the rampage were asked to call (310)458–8449.
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