Three people were killed and at least five others were injured during a shooting rampage Friday near the campus of Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, Calif.
Two people were found dead in a burned house, apparent victims of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the shooting spree that killed another and injured at least five others, according to authorities cited by the Associated Press. Witnesses indicated the gunplay -- involving first a residence and then multiple motor vehicles -- began shortly before noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT), AP reported.
Authorities believe there were either one or two shooters, AP said. Police said one suspect was in custody and the other was “down,” although they have not confirmed a death, AP said.
The sound of gunshots was also heard in the Santa Monica College library, according to the Los Angeles television station KABC. “We didn’t know what was happening until all the students at the entrance of the library started running down towards the bottom of the library,” said Santa Monica College student Sam Luster. Luster hid under a desk in the library before heading toward the exit, where he said he then heard multiple shots.
The suspect was discovered in the school’s library and taken into custody, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The incident happened just three miles away from where U.S. President Barack Obama was attending a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. However, officials said it did not affect the event. “We are aware of the incident, and it is not impacting the visit,” Edwin Donovan, deputy assistant director of the Secret Service, told KABC. “It’s a local police matter at this point.”
Santa Monica College is a two-year college with about 34,000 students. The campus was put on lockdown during the incident.