SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Classes resumed at Santa Monica College Monday, just days after five people were killed and another five were injured in a shooting rampage on and near the campus.
The main campus reopened at 7 a.m. for final examinations, but the library will remain closed until at least Wednesday. Counseling services were available for students, faculty and staff and additional security detail was also at the school.
“We want to send our condolences to all the victims of this terrible and senseless tragedy,” Albert Gomez, Chief of the Santa Monica College Police Department, said.
A vigil has been planned for 6 p.m. in front of the campus library.
“This is an opportunity to recall those we lost, to comfort those who are sad, and to share a moment of silence. Please bring a candle and an open heart. All are welcome,” SMC President Chui Tsang said in a statement online.
John Zawahri, 23, is accused of killing his father, 55-year-old Samir Zawahri, and his 24-year-old brother, Christopher Zawahri, at their Yorkshire Avenue home Friday before going on a shooting rampage on city streets and at the college.
Zawahri fired more than 70 shots from multiple weapons on the Santa Monica College campus, killing 26-year-old student Marcela Dia Franco, her father, 68-year-old groundskeeper Carlos Franco, and Margarita Gomez of Santa Monica. He was eventually shot and killed by Santa Monica police in the college library.
Tuesday’s commencement ceremony will also serve as a memorial service for the Franco family, Tsang said.
An investigation into the shootings was ongoing Monday as police released security photos of Zawahri taken during the rampage.
Santa Monica police confirmed that the suspect was placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold when he was a minor.
A resource officer at Santa Monica High School said Zawahri threatened students and staff when he attended the school in 2006.
“I cannot discuss this former student’s record due to strict privacy laws, but I can stress that as a matter of policy, any time a student demonstrates concerning behavior our District works closely with law enforcement and mental health agencies to take swift action,” Sandra Lyon, SMMUSD Superintendent, said in a statement.
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