'Day of mourning' planned in Santa Barbara

'Day of mourning' planned in Santa Barbara

Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Photos of a victim stand in a makeshift memorial in front of the IV Deli May 25, 2014 in Isla Vista, California.


by Charisse Jones, USA TODAY


Posted on May 26, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Updated Monday, May 26 at 2:05 PM

The six victims of a murderous rampage in Santa Barbara will be remembered Tuesday in a "day of mourning and reflection'' by the university where they studied and prepared for their future.

In a letter to the school community, Henry Yang, chancellor of the University of California-Santa Barbara, and interim executive vice chancellor Joel Michaelsen said a memorial service will be held at Harder Stadium at 4 p.m. Tuesday and that there also will be a memorial wall at the Pardall Center.

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"This is a period of mourning for all of us,'' Yang and Michaelsen wrote. "The moving candlelight vigil that our students organized on Saturday evening began the process of healing. On Tuesday we will remember and honor the victims of this horrible event and come together as an academic community to reflect, talk with each other and think about the future.''

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CNN reported that there would also be a march Monday, starting at the Alpha Phi sorority house where Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, and Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, were shot to death by suspect Elliot Rodger, 22. The procession then will stop at each of the places where the four other victims lost their lives.

Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, George Chen, 19, and Weihan Wang, 20 were stabbed to death in the apartment they shared with Rodger, authorities say. After those attacks Friday night, Rodger then went on a shooting spree, killing Weiss and Cooper before heading to the IV Deli Mart in the community of Isla Vista, where he killed Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, a UC Santa Barbara student majoring in English who planned to go to law school after graduating.

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Rodger was later found dead apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The university and surrounding community was wrestling with grief and regret about the lost promise of the young people who were killed.

Michaels-Martinez was a dorm residential adviser at UC Santa Barbara last year, and remembered by those who knew him as warm and welcoming. He'd intended to follow the career path charted by his parents who were both lawyers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

An only child, Michaels-Martinez wanted to go onto law school and also planned to study in London. He had traveled extensively in Europe with his father and high school friends, according to the Times. And growing up, he played soccer, football and basketball. He graduated from San Luis Obispo High School in 2012.

"Sometimes he was the most skilled player on the field,'' his father Richard Martinez, said according to the Times. "And even if he wasn't, he was the most determined player on the field.''

Cooper, from Chino Hills, Calif. was a painter and on the verge of graduating with a degree in art history. Weiss was in her first year at UC Santa Barbara. Originally from Westlake Village, she was part of Westlake High School's water polo team, according to the Thousand Oaks Acorn, and had garnered second team All-Marmonte League honors during her senior year.

"She was always a happy person,'' Weiss' former co-worker Eric Pursley, told the paper.

Hong and Chen were both from San Jose. They had been Rodgers' roommates, their names on the apartment's lease along with his. Wang was from Fremont and it was unclear whether he had been living with the three other men, or was just visiting.