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Police identify Santa Monica shooting suspect after fifth victim pronounced dead

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Police identified the 23-year-old suspect in a string of attacks in Santa Monica, California responsible for the deaths of five people before authorities killed him in a shoot-out inside a library, ABC News reported on Sunday.

Authorities also said that John Zawahri shot and killed his father, 55-year-old Samir Zawahri and his brother, 25-year-old Christopher Zawahri, at their home with an assault rifle before setting the house on fire and making his way toward Santa Monica College, trying to carjack two motorists and shooting at others while carrying more firearms and ammunition inside a duffel bag later recovered on campus.

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KABC-TV reported on Sunday that another victim, 26-year-old Marcela Franco, was pronounced dead on Sunday, about a day after being taken off life support by her family. She was shot while riding in a Ford Explorer with her father, 68-year-old Carlos Franco. Authorities said the two were on the way to the college bookstore when Zawahri shot them, killing the elder Franco instantly and sending the vehicle crashing into a wall. An unidentified woman, described as being in her fifties, was also shot and killed on campus. Police said she was not a student.

“She was actually trying to take more classes,” a family friend, Jessica Martínez, told KCAL-TV. “She was going to take summer courses and she wanted to go get books and they were on their way home when everything happened.”

A high school classmate of John Zawahri’s told KABC that Zawahri’s home was searched by police in 2006 after Zawahri allegedly threatened fellow students at Olympic High School in Santa Monica.

“He started talking to me and my friend about basically doing violent things,” the classmate said to KABC while disguising their voice to protect their identity. “He would ask us to fight him so he could feel what it felt like to get into a fight, he could feel the hits. He showed us the ski masks and the crow bar that he was going to use to steal the M-16 in the cop car.”

Police said on Saturday that they had met with John Zawahri that year but did not elaborate on the encounter, citing his status as a minor at the time.

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Watch KABC’s report, aired Sunday, below.


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‘Like George W. Bush after 9/11’: Kayleigh McEnany declares Trump Bible photo op a historic moment

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday defended the use of force against protesters in order to clear way for President Donald Trump's photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church.

At her daily press briefing, McEnany was asked why it was necessary for Trump to walk to the church, where held up a Bible.

McEnany suggested that Trump's photo op had been a historic moment.

"This was a very important moment," she explained. "I would note that through all of time, we've seen presidents and leaders across the world who have had leadership moments and very powerful symbols that were important for a nation to see at any given time, to show a message of resilience and determination."

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Trump slams religious leaders who criticized his church photo-op

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President Donald Trump declared on Fox News Radio religious leaders who criticized his visit to St. John's Episcopal Church to be members of the "opposition party."

The president has drawn widespread criticism for his visit to the vandalized church, which came after the U.S. Park Service and National Guard troops used chemical irritants to clear peaceful protesters from the area.

"Most religious leaders loved it," Trump told Fox host Brian Kilmeade. "I heard Franklin Graham this morning thought it was great. I heard many other people think it was great, and it's only the other side that didn't like it, the opposing -- the opposition party, as the expression goes."

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Defense secretary throws Trump under the bus: ‘I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act’

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Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Wednesday seemed to be at odds with President Donald Trump when it comes to invoking the Insurrection Act to quell protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Esper explained at a press conference that members of the National Guard had been deployed to keep order "in support of local law enforcement."

"The option to use active duty forces should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations," he explained. "We are not in one of those situations now."

"I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act," Esper insisted, referencing Trump's threat to use the law against protesters.

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