SANTA MONICA, Calif.—A man opened fire in the streets here Friday in a rampage that also included a house fire, leaving seven dead, including the suspect, and several others injured, police said.
The series of violent events culminated at Santa Monica College, where the suspect was shot and killed by police. Students at the two-year college were escorted from the campus by SWAT officers who swarmed the area, just a few miles from where President Barack Obama was speaking at a fundraising event.
Two bodies were found in a burned house near the college, police said. Neighbors interviewed live on local television near that house reported seeing an armed man dressed in black who shot a woman in one passing car and carjacked another with a woman in it.
UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center received three shooting victims, according to a spokeswoman, one of whom was declared dead at the hospital. Three other people were injured but not by gunfire, according to UCLA hospital officials. All three of those people were described as being in good condition.
Witnesses said they had seen what they believed was the body of a suspect lying near the college library. It was unclear in the immediate aftermath of the shootings whether the incident involved more than one suspect. Authorities said they had taken a “subject of interest” into custody.
Priscilla Morales, a 23-year-old student in her second year at Santa Monica College, said she was studying for her business marketing class with seven other students in a study room on the second floor of the library.
Ms. Morales said she saw people running by the room, and then she heard gunshots and hid under a table.
Armed police officers arrived soon after to escort her group out of the library. On the way out, Ms. Morales said, she walked past a body on the ground.
Jason Garrett, 42, was on campus Friday for a final exam in his English class. He said he was outside the library when he heard one or two shots and saw about 30 people running, screaming out of the library.
Then, he said, “I saw the gunman coming out of the library.” He was walking “methodically,” Mr. Garrett said, “as calm as can be.” The gunman was carrying what looked to Mr. Garrett like a high-powered rifle, wearing black tactical gear.
Mr. Garrett was running to alert some friends in another building when he encountered SWAT officers and was escorted off campus.
Reporters at local public radio station KCRW, which broadcasts from a building on the Santa Monica College campus, were evacuated from their offices Friday afternoon.