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GOLETA, Calif. – It’s a day of mourning for the father of a man who was among the victims killed in the shooting rampage near a California university.
Quaked with grief and rage Saturday, Richard Martinez described his “lost and broken” family and the proliferation of guns he believes led to his son’s death.
“Our son Cristopher and six others are dead,” he told reporters gathered outside a sheriff’s station for a news conference the day after the shootings near the University of California, Santa Barbara, where his 20-year-old son was a sophomore. “You don’t think it’ll happen to your child until it does.
Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, of Los Osos, Calif., was the last of six people killed by Elliot Rodger, 22, who went on a stabbing and shooting rampage across the seaside California college that killed two young women and four men. At least 13 were injured.
Rodger, son of a Hollywood director who worked on “The Hunger Games,” apparently shot and killed himself inside a black BMW he used in the violence.
Martinez choked back tears as he spoke, then grew angrier as he talked about gun laws and lobbyists.
"The talk about gun rights. What about Chris' right to live?" Martinez said. "When will enough people say: 'Stop this madness! We don't have to live like this! Too many people have died!"
He then punctuated his words as he said, "We should say to ourselves: 'Not! One! More!'" before dissolving into tears and falling to his knees as he stepped from the podium.
Authorities said that in YouTube videos and a long written manifesto, Rodger aired his contempt for everyone from his roommates to the whole human race, reserving special hate for two groups: the women he says kept him a virgin for all of his 22 years, and the men they chose instead.
The rampage played out largely as he laid it out in the public postings, including a YouTube video where he sits in the BMW in sunset light and appears to be acting out scripted lines and planned laughs.
"I'll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you,” said in the video posted Friday and taken down by YouTube on Saturday with a message saying it violated the site's terms of service.
"I don't know why you girls are so repulsed by me," he said in the video, describing his loneliness and frustration at never having had sex with or even kissed a girl. "I am polite. I am the ultimate gentleman. And yet, you girls never give me a chance. I don't know why."
Of the men he sees as rivals, he said: "I deserve girls much more than all those slobs," and that after his rampage "you will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male."
Sheriff Bill Brown, appearing on CNN on Sunday said that investigators are tying up a few ends, but "for the most part, I think, we have a pretty clear picture of what happened."
The first three killed Friday were male stabbing victims in Rodger's own apartment whose names have not been released, Brown said Saturday.
Then, at about 9:30 p.m., the citywide shooting and vehicle-ramming rampage began.
His first stop was the Alpha Phi sorority, which he had called "the hottest sorority of UCSB."
"I know exactly where their house is and I've sat outside it in my car to stalk them many times," Rodger wrote in his extensive manifesto titled "My Twisted World."
No one answered the door after one to two minutes of aggressive pounding, but he soon shot three women who were standing nearby, killing two of them, 19-year-old Veronika Weiss and 22-year-old Katherine Cooper.
It’s unclear if Rodger knew them.
He then drove to a deli where he walked inside and shot and Michaels-Martinez, the sheriff said.
Michaels-Martinez was the last one killed, but the rampage would continue as Rodger drove across Isla Vista, shooting at some and running down others with his car, twice exchanging gunfire with deputies. He was shot in the hip, but the gunshot to the head that killed him was thought to be self-inflicted, Brown said.
Deputies found three semi-automatic handguns with 400 unspent rounds in his black BMW. All were purchased legally.
On Saturday, attorney Alan Shifman issued a statement saying Peter Rodger believed his son was the shooter. The family is staunchly against guns, he added.
"The Rodger family offers their deepest compassion and sympathy to the families involved in this terrible tragedy. We are experiencing the most inconceivable pain, and our hearts go out to everybody involved," Shifman said.
Martinez said he talked to his son just 45 minutes before he died inside the IV Deli Mart, where bullet holes and blood could still be seen on Saturday.
Michaels-Martinez was an English major who planned to go to London next year and to law school after graduation, his father said.
He pulled out a photo of his son as a small child in Chicago Cubs baseball uniform and said they used to call him "mini-Sammy Sosa," referring to the former Cubs star.
"Chris was a really great kid," Martinez said. "Ask anyone who knew him. His death has left our family lost and broken."
The roommate of Michaels-Martinez remembered his friend as a great writer and struggled to understand what had happened.
"You always think, 'Oh, that doesn't happen to me, that doesn't happen in my town. That's always just something on the news.' But that did happen and it's just, like, very overwhelming," Jeff Dolphin to KNBC-TV. "A lot of shock hasn't even settled.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.