(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — Classes were cancelled on Tuesday and a huge crowd was in attendance Tuesday night at a memorial for the six University of California, Santa Barbara students killed over the weekend in a violent rampage.
Among the speakers at Tuesday’s memorial were Richard Martinez, the father of Christopher Michaels-Martinez, one of the three victims shot and killed by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, and UC System President and former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. The memorial took place at the UCSB soccer stadium, filled with approximately 17,000 mourners. The front of the stage was adorned with six floral wreaths — one for each victim.
Richard Martinez urged those in attendance to reach out to politicians and express their outrage, saying that something must be done to stop the shootings. “It’s intolerable this situation…too many people have died and it should be not one more.” His speech prompted chants of “Not One More” throughout the crowd.
Napolitano urged the mourners to remember the people, not the figures, when it came to the tragedy. “All died much too young, but it’s important that we do not let the arithmetic of this atrocity define them…think of the lives we mourn as poems, abbreviated, yes, but eloquent nonetheless in their own unique flourishes.” She added that the UCSB community was united in mourning, but that they, “will get through this together.”
After stabbing his three roommates to death in his Isla Vista home, Rodger drove his BMW with his legally owned and registered guns to the Alpha Phi sorority house near the UC Santa Barbara campus and after banging on the door but being refused entry, he went across the street and sprayed the house with bullets, killing Katherine Cooper, 22, and Veronika Weiss, 19, and wounding another female.
Rodger next drove to a deli where he gunned down UC Santa Barbara student Christopher Martinez. Rodger then drove his car around town, randomly shooting at people and running others down with his car before he slammed into another vehicle. At that point, with cops closing in, he took his own life.
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