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Survivor of Calif. rampage tells of being shot 4 times by ‘cold’ gunman

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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The man believed to have carried out a deadly shooting rampage in Santa Monica was officially identified by authorities Sunday as 23-year-old John Zawahri.


John Zawahri, 23, was killed by police after a shooting rampage that took at least five lives. (KTLA)

The Santa Monica Police Department also released a picture of Zawahri.

Police had been waiting to publicly release the man’s name until they reached his mother, who was out of the country when Friday’s shootings unfolded.

Zawahri had a history of mental issues, law enforcement sources close to the investigation revealed Saturday.

He was previously hospitalized for allegedly talking about harming someone, according to the official.

The 23-year-old is believed to have killed five people and wounded four others before officers shot and killed him inside a library on the campus of Santa Monica College. He was later killed by police during a confrontation in the college’s library.

“Any time someone puts on a vest of some sort, comes out with a bag full of loaded magazines, has an extra receiver, has a handgun and has a semiautomatic rifle, carjacks folks, goes to a college, kills more people and has to be neutralized at the hands of police, I would say that’s premeditated,” Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said.

Zawahri had more than than 1,300 rounds of ammunition with him during the attack, Seabrooks added.

In 2006, Santa Monica police officers were called regarding Zawahri to the Yorkshire Avenue home that was gutted by fire on Friday. The specifics of the case could not be revealed because Zawahri was a juvenile at the time.

One of the victims killed in the shooting rampage was identified Saturday as 68-year-old Carlos Navarro Franco from West Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said.

Franco was a groundskeeper at Santa Monica College, college President Chui L. Tsang wrote in a Facebook post.

Franco’s daughter, Marcela, 26, was also shot and killed as the two rode together in an SUV to the campus.

She was taken off of life support Sunday morning at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood and became the fifth fatality from the rampage.

Police said the 10-minute rampage began just before noon Friday, at a house on Yorkshire Avenue that was set on fire. Authorities later found the bodies of the gunman’s father, Samir Zawahri, 55, and brother, Chris, 25, inside.

By the time police caught up with John Zawahri at the college library, killing him in a shootout, the gunman had slain an unidentified woman outside the building and wounded several others along the way. Franco is survived by his wife, Ramona, who works at Saint John’s Hospital Child Study Center, Tsang said, noting that a son died two summers ago in a traffic accident.

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