Monday 19 March 2018

US gunman had 1,300 bullets and was 'ready for battle'

Raf Sanchez Washington

A 23-year-old gunman who went on a deadly shooting rampage through the Californian city of Santa Monica was carrying 1,300 rounds of ammunition and was "ready for battle", police said.

The gunman, identified by several sources as John Zawahri, murdered his brother Chris (25) and father Samir (55) before setting fire to their house and setting out on a random killing spree, claiming two other victims.

After being shot dead by police, officers discovered he was carrying 1,300 rounds of ammunition, a semi-automatic rifle, and body armour.

"He was ready for battle," said a police spokesman.

Authorities said he would have embarked on a larger rampage had he not been killed in Santa Monica College. Zawahri, who was due to turn 24 on Saturday, reportedly had severe mental health issues.

After killing the two members of his family on Friday, he forced a woman to to let him into her car at gunpoint.

Laura Sisk (41) told the 'Los Angeles Times' she initially thought the gunman was a Secret Service agent because President Barack Obama was attending a nearby fundraiser. She realised she was being carjacked as Zawahri started firing at a passersby and then at a bus, wounding three people.

He made her drive to the university campus where he was once enrolled and let her go. "He told me to calm down, 'You'll be all right'," Ms Sisk said. "He said he'd let me go if I didn't do anything stupid."


At the campus he opened fire on a car, killing Carlos Navarro Franco (68) and wounding his 26-year-old daughter Marcela. She is in hospital but is not expected to survive, officials said.

He killed another woman on campus before bursting into the library and firing at least 70 shots. Police officers killed him inside the library, ending a 13-minute rampage.

The gunman appears to have used an AR-15, the same semi-automatic rifle used in the massacres at a Colorado cinema and Connecticut's Sandy Hook primary school. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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