People of Northwest Public Radio
Sun June 9, 2013
Family Strife Could Prove Motive In Santa Monica Shootings
Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 4:59 pm
Investigators were reportedly looking into family connections in their search for a motive in Friday's shooting rampage in Santa Monica, Calif., that left six people dead, including the gunman and a woman who died Sunday from injuries sustained in the assault.
The Associated Press, quoting unnamed officials close to the investigation, reports that the inquiry was focusing on the likelihood that a domestic dispute sparked the violence that spilled over onto the Santa Monica College campus. The killer's father, identified as 55-year-old Samir Zawahri, and his brother, Chris, 25, were the first victims in Friday's attack. Zawahri's home was apparently set on fire after the killings.
Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said Saturday that the killer, who died a day shy of his 24th birthday, had "contact" with local law enforcement in 2006, but she didn't elaborate.
Seabrooks also said Saturday that the gunman had been enrolled at Santa Monica College as recently as 2010.
Update at 7:57 p.m. ET. Gunman Identified
Police have identified the gunman as 23-year-old John Zawahri. The AP reports that authorities hadn't identified him earlier because his next of kin, his mother, was out of the country and hadn't been notified. She is now back in the U.S. after cutting her trip short.
Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. College: Woman Wounded In Shooting Dies
Marcelo Franco, who was in a vehicle the gunman fired on during Friday's shooting rampage, has died, according to a Santa Monica College statement. That brings the number of people killed by the gunman to five.
Franco was a passenger in a red Ford Explorer that crashed into a wall on Friday after the driver, her father, Carlos Franco, was shot and killed.
The SMC statement said that Marcelo Franco had attended summer classes at the college and that a memorial would be held for her at an appropriate time.