CHINO HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Friends and a former teacher of one of the victims killed in the UCSB shooting are speaking out, sharing memories and insight as to the type of person she was.
Katie Cooper, 22, and a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority at UCSB, was one of the victims killed by gunman Elliot Rodger on Friday.
CBS2’s Michele Gile spoke with neighbors in Cooper’s home town of Chino Hills, many of whom considered her a sister, and all agree that a kind, caring young lady was lost.
“She had a very bright smile that lit up a whole room around the cul-de-sac,” neighbor Phoenix Morales said. “She loved sports. She was involved in soccer, track, and she loved hanging out with her friends and family, and she was a very bright, sweet girl, and its just hard seeing something like this happen to her.”
Cooper’s childhood self was described as a tall Tomboy with endless energy. She grew up as the youngest sibling in her family with two older brothers.
Cooper was also an honor student, who ran track for Ruben Ayala High School, where her former science teacher remembers her as a standout in the classroom.
“In class, she was a top student,” former teacher Allen Borcherding said. “A lot of students (thought) that I gave hard tests, but she didn’t seem to think so. She was always getting a hundred percent and things like that, so I always put her with other students that she could help out, because that’s what she liked to do, she was just, naturally, a giver.”
Cooper was just weeks from graduating from UC Santa Barbara. She and sorority sister Veronika Weiss were walking outside the Alpha Phi sorority house when they were gunned down on the lawn by Rodger.
Cooper and Weiss represented the last of six victims killed by Rodger, before he took his own life.
“It effects our community because we’ve lost one of our own, and someone who could have made such a good change in the next generation, and it’s just heartbreaking,” Chino Hills resident April Borcherding said.