Santa Monica Shooter Identified; John Zawahri Had Mental Issues

Monday, 10 Jun 2013 07:56 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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The identity of the man accused of killing five people in the Santa Monica shooting spree Friday has been revealed, and police say the shooter, 23-year-old John Zawahri, suffered from mental-health problems.

Zawahri allegedly killed his father and brother before carjacking a woman and ordering her at gunpoint to drive him to Santa Monica College, where he was once a student, while he sprayed bullets at passing vehicles on Friday.

Dressed in black and wearing a ballistic vest, Zawahri reportedly shot and killed a father and daughter who were in an SUV in a parking lot on the school's campus, and then opened fire on a woman outside the school's library before going in.

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The shooter attempted to attack students who were barricaded in a library "safe room," but was killed by police before he could claim another victim.

At least five people were injured in the rampage, police said.

Zawahri was carrying approximately 1,300 rounds of ammunition, in addition to a revolver and a rifle similar to an AR-15 semi-automatic in a duffel bag, Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks told reporters.

She suspects the attacks were premeditated.

"I would presume anytime someone puts on a vest of some sort and has a bag of loaded magazines as an extra receiver, has a handgun and has a semi automatic rifle, carjacks folks, goes to a college, kills more people and has to be neutralized at hands of police — I would stay that's premeditated," Seabrooks said Saturday during a press briefing.

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It's unclear what Zawahri's motive was, but an anonymous law enforcement office told the Los Angeles Times that he suffered from mental-health problems and was angry about his parents' divorce.

He reportedly had "contact" with police back in 2006, but Seabrooks declined to elaborate because Zawahri was a juvenile at the time.

Related stories:

Chief Says Santa Monica Killings Were Premeditated

Newtown, Conn. Shooting: Timeline of Mass Killings Since Columbine

10-year-old Girl Killed after Gunmen Shoot into Calif Home

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