Santa Monica detectives have their work cut out for them following a house fire with two dead bodies, a carjacking with gun fire, and at least one person dead in a connected shooting near Santa Monica College at about noon Friday.
According to a witnesses, residents on the 2500 block of Kansas Avenue heard gun shots inside a home just before noon — the start of a deadly crime spree in the Pico neighborhood — that has ended with the death of the suspect at SMC.
“A little before noon my son left the house and then almost immediately I heard gun shots and I ran out because I feared for him,” a resident told KTLA5. “Luckily he was gone. There was a guy outside right in front of my place with full SWAT gear, a belt full of ammunition and a semi-automatic rifle. The first six shots he had fired inside the house or at this house across the street and it was on fire. The first thing I noticed was smoke coming from across the street. He had a bag lying in the street. He glanced up at me. He walked over here to this corner, this intersection. He pointed a gun at a woman in car and told her to pull over, which she did. The woman behind her in a car, he waved her through with a gun, she kind of hesitated and slowed down. He fired three or four shots point blank into her in the car. The car ended up in my driveway. I ran inside to get the phone to call 911. When I came back outside he was getting into the blue car with the first woman. He had thrown a bunch of stuff out the car. They were driving off. We just got towels to put pressure on this woman’s wounds. She is going to be okay. She was talking.”
Jerry said she recognized the shooter as the son of the man who lives in the house.
She they were a Lebanese family — a father with two sons.
“I’ve heard there are two people deceased inside, I’m guessing it’s the father and the son, they were the only people I saw in the house,” she said. “It’s a dilapidated run down house, so it went up in flames really fast.”
The shooter is suspected of driving near Santa Monica College about seven to eight blocks away where he opened fired on a bus and several cars near Pico and Cloverfield Boulevards.
“The bus came to a stop at a red light,” a witness on the bus told KTLA5. “There was a car honking behind the bus. There was another car parked next to bus. A man got out of the car on the left hand side of bus, the driver side, pulled out a rifle and started firing at the bus. People were screaming and hitting the floor. All of the passengers took immediate cover. There was a lot of panic. There was woman who was hit by a bullet. The shooter was a male wearing black clothing, slightly dark skin.”
The shooter then fled to Santa Monica College at 1900 Pico Boulevard and began a shooting rampage.
Officials from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center confirmed one woman died from gun shot wounds late Friday.
The LA Times reported at around 1 pm that the shooter then fled onto the campus at SMC and went into the library and was taken into custody.
However, SMPD Chief of Police Department Jacqueline Seabrooks has confirmed that the shooter has been killed on the campus of SMC.
A California Highway Patrol spokeswoman said the CHP received initial calls starting as early as 11:55 am of a man carrying several weapons and firing at passing cars and the bus near SMC.
“After that suspect was taken into custody, we continued to receive reports of shots fired,” the spokeswoman said. “There is still a search going on in the area for additional suspects.”
The City of Santa Monica issued an email alert saying crime scene investigations are ongoing, adding Santa Monica High School’s graduation will proceed as planned this evening.
However, the alert said traffic throughout the city is expected to be heavy and areas around Santa Monica College should be avoided.