Grieving Dad on California Shooting: ‘When Will This Insanity Stop?’

Posted at 3:40 PM, May 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-25 15:40:33-04

Veronika Weiss, Katherine Cooper and Christopher Martinez have been identified as victims. (Photo from CNN)

(CNN, May 25, 2014) — Three men at an apartment, two women outside a sorority and a deli customer were killed in a rampage Friday night in a college community near Santa Barbara, California, authorities said.

Elliot Rodger, the son of a Hollywood movie director, also injured 13 people and died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Katherine Cooper, 22, and Veronika Weiss, 19, both students at the University of California, Santa Barbara, were killed, officials said, and Christopher Martinez, 20, was killed at the deli, officials said.

The remaining three victims have not yet been identified.

Rodger stabbed his roommates to death at their apartment before starting his shooting rampage, officials said.

Martinez’s father gave a wrenching statement to the news media Saturday afternoon.

He was “a really great kid” whose “death has left our family lost and broken,” Richard Martinez said.

“Our family has a message for every parent out there: You don’t think it will happen to your child until it does,” the visibly emotional parent said, his voice rising to a shout in obvious agony.

“Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the (National Rifle Association). They talk about gun rights — what about Chris’ right to live?” he continued.

“When will this insanity stop?” he asked. “When will enough people say stop this madness, we don’t have to live like this? Too many have died. We should say to ourselves — not one more.”

Lyssa Hopper, a 19-year-old student, was at the counter of the I.V. Deli Mart, the Los Angeles Times reported. When shooting began Hopper dropped to the floor, looked up and saw Martinez lying near the door.

“He was slumped over, and he was bleeding,” Hopper told the newspaper.

Messages across social media urged that the victims’ name remain in the headlines to honor and remember them as more emerges about their alleged killer.

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