crimesider

Thousands gather to mourn slain UC Santa Barbara students

GOLETA, Calif. - Tens of thousands of mourners gathered Tuesday to mourn the six University of California, Santa Barbara students killed in a weekend rampage.

University of California President Janet Napolitano urged that the victims be remembered for what they did in their brief lives.

"It is important that we don't lose sight of the lives lost or why we've gathered. As long as they're in our hearts, they are not gone," she told the crowd at the campus stadium.

santa-barbara-service.jpg
Students console one another at the University of California, Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium during a memorial service in honor of the victims of Friday's Isla Vista rampage, May 27, 2014.
LUCY NICHOLSON, REUTERS

The school canceled classes and declared a day of mourning and reflection on Tuesday, four days after the attack.

Police say Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old community college student angry because women were not attracted to him, stabbed to death his three roommates, Weihan "David" Wang, 20; Cheng Yuan "James" Hong, 20; and George Chen, 19. Rodger then shot and killed 19-year-old Veronika Weiss, 22-year-old Katherine Cooper, and Christopher Michaels-Martinez, 20, in a rampage that left 13 other people injured.

"I am deeply saddened and heart broken by the tragedy that has happened. We ask why such a beautiful place and why beautiful people have been hurt this way," Napolitano said.

But she added, "We have a spirit and resilience in our community that can never be taken from us."

richard-martinez.jpg
Richard Martinez, father of Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez , speaks at the University of California, Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium during a memorial service in honor of the victims of Friday's Isla Vista rampage, May 27, 2014.
LUCY NICHOLSON, REUTERS

Michaels-Martinez's father urged students to pressure politicians to enact tougher gun laws.

"They have done nothing and that's why Chris died ... in my opinion," Richard Martinez said.

Rodger had legally obtained three semi-automatic handguns and still had 400 unspent rounds of ammunition when he shot himself to death, authorities said.

Martinez said the American public has become too used to mass killings.

"It's almost become a normal thing for us to accept this," he said, referring to mass-killings. "It's not normal ... life doesn't have to be like this."

"I am going to ask you to shout the words, 'Not one more.' When we do this I want it to be so loud they hear it in Washington, D.C."

"Not one more!" the crowd chanted. "Not one more!"

Martinez also read statements from the families of two other slain students, Hong and Wang, in which they asked for prayers or blessings on the families of the victims and the killer.

"May we together create a peaceful world and let hatred be gone with the wind," the Hong family statement said.

"We will learn to love people as the way you did," the Wang family said, addressing their loved one . "Goodbye for now until we see you in heaven."

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download
The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App