Santa Barbara mourns shooting victims

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REUTERS

Students gather at the University of California Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium during a memorial service in honour of the victims of the Isla Vista rampage in Santa Barbara. Picture: Lucy Nicholson

Los Angeles -

Thousands of students attended a memorial service on Tuesday for the victims of a college shooting rampage, as the university declared a day of mourning.

Students made 10 000 ribbons for the service at the University of California at Santa Barbara, still reeling from last Friday's killings by a mentally unstable 22-year-old, Eliot Rodger.

“We are here because in this moment of loss there's a human desire to come together to reach out to one another for love and support,” said University of California President Janet Napolitano.

“We are grieving together today as a family, as the community of the University of California and we will get through this,” added the former US Secretary of Homeland Security.

Rodger, the son of an assistant director on the “Hunger Games” movies, stabbed his three roommates to death before going on a shooting rampage which killed three more students. Another 13 people were wounded in the attack.

The 22-year-old, who took his own life after Friday's killing spree in the town of Isla Vista, had previously convinced police he was not a threat to others.

Questions about how Rodger was free to carry out his bloody assault have swirled after it emerged he left several written manifestos and videos posted online explaining his motives, some of which were uploaded weeks before Friday's rampage.

Rodger wrote about his meeting with police in a 140-page manifesto-autobiography titled “My Twisted World.”

Earlier the university's Chancellor Henry T. Yang declared Tuesday a “day of mourning and reflection,” in a letter to its over 20 000 students.

Organisers made some 10 000 ribbons to “represent our community's collective mourning, reflection, and recovery,” for a memorial service at the town's Harder Stadium, according to the UCSB Residence Halls Association, on Facebook. - Sapa-AFP


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