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Witness: Santa Monica shooting suspect ‘looked like a SWAT team member’

By Arturo Garcia
Friday, June 7, 2013 22:28 EDT
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Witness Jerry Cunningham-Rathner describes first 3 deaths in Santa Monica shootings. Image via KNBC-TV.
 
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A witness described seeing the suspect in a string of shooting attacks in Santa Monica, California on Friday that left six people dead before police killed the suspect at a local college.

“He actually kind of glanced up at me, and then he saw two cars pull up to the corner” Jerry Cunningham-Rathner told KNBC-TV. “He was just standing up in the street. He looked like an official kind of SWAT guy. Ammo belt, full black attire. He looked like a SWAT team member.”

Cunningham-Rathner said to the station that she ran outside her home after hearing gunshots, fearing her son had been shot, when she spotted the suspect, who has not been identified by police, emerging from a home across the street from hers.

“You could smell the gunshots, and then I noticed that the house was on fire,” she told KNBC.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday night that authorities believe the two bodies found inside the home belonged to the suspect’s father and brother, an account supported by statements made by Cunningham-Rathner to the station.

The suspect, she recalled, then told the driver in car nearest to him to pull over, before waving the car behind her through with an assault rifle.

“She hesitated. She slowed down and she looked at him,” Cunningham-Rathner said to KNBC. “Then he fired point-blank, right into her car, like three shots. Right into her car.”

At that point, Cunningham-Rathner ran into her house to phone for help. She emerged to find the suspect getting into the car of the driver he pulled over, a woman. She told the station it did not appear like they knew each other.

The other driver, she said, had a bullet wound in her shoulder, and was on the phone with her husband.

“We just put some towels on her, tried to keep her calm,” Cunningham-Rathner told KNBC.

Watch Cunningham-Rathner’s account of the story, aired on Friday, below.

View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
 
 
 
 
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