A gunman went on a drive-by shooting rampage in a Santa Barbara student enclave and at least seven people were killed, including the attacker, authorities said.
Investigators believe a 22-year-old named Elliot Rodger driving a black BMW acted alone in the shootings around 9:30pm Friday night near the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown confirmed at a news conference early Saturday that that seven people were killed, including the gunman, and seven wounded.
Brown said the suspect exchanged gunfire with deputies and then drove off and crashed into a parked car.
'We have obtained and are currently analyzing both written and videotaped evidence that suggests this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder,' Brown said.
Rodger is thought to be the son of Peter Rodger, assistant director of the Hollywood film franchise The Hunger Games.
Authorities are examining a video posted on social media by the shooter in which he rants about women who supposedly rejected his advances.
The video is called Elliot Rodger's Retribution.
Rodger, a Santa Barbara City College Student and Isla Vista resident, according to his social media accounts unleashed a tirade about his 'loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires,' and blames women for preferring 'obnoxious brutes' to him, 'the supreme gentlemen.'
'I'm 22 years old and I'm still a virgin. I've never even kissed a girl,' he says in the video.
'College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. But in those years I've had to rot in loneliness. It's not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it,' he says in the video, which runs to almost seven minutes.
He repeatedly promises to 'punish' women and lays out his plan for 'retribution.'
'I'm going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoilt, stuck-up, blonde s**t that I see inside there. All those girls that I've desired so much, they would've all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them,' he says.
'I'll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male,' he laughs like a maniacal movie villain. 'Yes... After I have annihilated every single girl in the sorority house I will take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there. All those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasure...'
Rodger's Twitter account has only two tweets, posted on April 19 and 20.
'Why are girls sexually attracted to obnoxious, brutish men instead of sophisticated gentlemen such as myself? #girls #perverted #sex #unfair,' reads the first.
'Why do girls hate me so much?' he posted on April 20, along with a now-deleted YouTube video.
Deputies found the suspect inside the BMW dead from a gunshot wound to the head. But the sheriff said he did not know if the suspect was shot and killed by deputies or if the wound was self-inflicted. A semiautomatic handgun was recovered.
As the shooting unfolded, residents took to social media to share the news and warn others.
'I could have easily been dead right now. RIP to the girls who got shot and killed and other people who got run over by this idiot,' tweeted one.
'ANYONE IN IV NEEDS TO STAY INSIDE. There is a shooting rampage by a white male in a black BMW shooting as he is driving by,' wrote another.
A witness says Rodger fired into a crowd standing outside of a Deli Mart.
'I heard somewhere between 12 to 20 shots into a group of people who were eating in front of it,' witness Robert Johnson told NBC Los Angeles.
Sienna Schwartz said the shooter approached her and said, 'Hey what up?' and then began shooting at her as she walked away.
The distressed girl said she initially thought the gun the shooter flashed at her was an airsoft gun but realized it was real when three or four bullets buzzed past her ears.
Rodger was a website forum called PUAHate.com, which describes itself as the 'Anti-Pickup-Artist Movement' and aims to reveal 'the scams, deception, and misleading marketing techniques used by dating gurus and the seduction community to deceive men and profit from them.'
Its members are all men who have spent a lot of time and money on books and seminars and other materials that claim to help men 'pick-up' women - but failed.
The bitter, often misogynistic threads are full of tales of woe from men who don't know how to get women to date them and blame the women themselves for the problem.
He posted in 2013, 'If you could release a virus that would kill every single man on Earth, except for yourself because you would have the antidote, would you do it? You will be the only man left, with all the females. You would be able to have your pick of any beautiful woman you want, as well as having dealt vengeance on the men who took them from you. Imagine how satisfying that would be.'
Rodger's actions have been lauded on the site by other members who have called him a 'hero.'
Brown said the shootings occurred at several sites in the town, resulting in nine crime scenes.
Santa Barbara County sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover told KEYT-TV the gunfire broke out around 9:30 p.m. Friday in the Isla Vista neighborhood.
A student told the station he saw shots fired from a BMW, fatally striking one woman and critically injuring another woman.
'I heard shots, scream, pain,' Michael Vitak said. 'All emotions. I hope she is going to be fine.'
The station said a black BMW slammed into as many as two cars.
The shooting prompted officials to issue alerts urging people to stay indoors.
Isla Vista is known for parties, including an annual spring bash that turned into a violent blowout last month as young people clashed with police and tossed rocks and bottles. A university police officer and four deputies were injured and 130 people were arrested.
Witnessed a kid get shot and watched him die in front of me while they used my shirt to cover his wounds and reccesitate him. Crazy night— Dylan Fontillas (@Thedfontillas) May 24, 2014